It seemed as though the Detroit Lions may have intended to match the Buccaneers offer to defensive end George Johnson, but instead gave him away in a trade.
The Lions technically “disputed” the Bucs offer, but in reality the club was simply seeking clarification from an arbitrator. At issue were de-escalator clauses which could have dropped the value of the deal from $9 million to $7 million. The Lions wanted to know how much they had to drop to match the deal–$7 million or $9 million.
In the end, the issue never made it to the hearing. The two clubs agreed to a trade: the Lions would give Johnson and a 7th round pick and receive a 5th round pick from the Buccaneers.
The trade will add depth to the defensive line, which struggled last season.