Rob Sims

Rob Sims Retires

Veteran offensive lineman Rob Sims is retiring, reports Fox2 in Detroit (via’s Michael Rothstein on Twitter). The 2006 fourth-round pick spent nine seasons in the league, starting 114 of his 125 games. The 31-year-old hadn’t missed a regular season contest since 2009, and he started 16 games in each of his five seasons with the Lions.

Sims’ career began in Seattle, where he played 45 games in four seasons with the Seahawks. He was traded to Detroit in 2010 for defensive end Robert Henderson (as well as fifth- and seventh-round picks), and he consistently ranked as the Lions’ best offensive lineman for three seasons, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). While his production has apparently dropped over the past two years, the 31-year-old still rated as an above-average guard.

In June, Sims told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that he could still be productive.

“I still can play,” he said. “I want to play. I guess, for me, (by) getting my ducks in a row (while I was still playing), I have the ability to look for the right deal, just don’t take any deal. I can actually pick what’s right for me and my family.”

The Lions had reportedly made the veteran an offer for 2015, but Sims had said that the contract wasn’t worth considering.

Community Tailgate: Best FA Besides Evan Mathis?

We’re still a few months away from the start of battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. This month, we launched a new series here at PFR that will be known as the Community Tailgate. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.

Of course, while the debate may get spirited, we ask that it all stays respectful. If you need a reminder of our rules, please check out our commenting policy. Basically, we ask that you refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults, and attacks. Speaking of commenting: we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Pro Football Rumors. You are no longer required to be a registered user – simply put in your name, email address, and comment and submit.

Today, we’re asking PFR readers to weigh in on the top remaining free agents. Excluding talented players with legal troubles like linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive end Ray McDonald, former Eagles guard Evan Mathis is universally regarded as the best player without a deal at this time. Beyond Mathis, however, there’s hardly a clear cut silver medalist.

Over the weekend, PFR’s Dallas Robinson put together his list of the best available remaining free agents. After Mathis, he ranked tackle Jake Long No. 2, citing the former No. 1 overall pick’s talent level while also acknowledging his frustrating injury history. Tight end Jermaine Gresham, who underwent back surgery in March to repair a herniated disc, comes in at No. 3 thanks to his pass-catching ability and history of solid blocking. One-time fantasy darling James Jones is ranked fourth even though he has yet to put up the kind of numbers that he did with the Packers in 2012. Defensive end Dwight Freeney, 35, has remained productive despite his age and lack of sack totals, and was ranked No. 5. Safety Dawan Landry, guard Rob Sims, defensive lineman Red Bryant, center Chris Myers, and offensive lineman Anthony Collins rounded out the top ten. Honorable mention went to notables such as defensive end Osi Umenyiora, running back Pierre Thomas, safety Bernard Pollard, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and quarterback Michael Vick.

Long could definitely pay dividends for a team willing to roll the dice on a low-cost deal and one could hardly be slammed for considering him the most intriguing free agent after Mathis. After all, in 2013, Long graded out as the seventh-best tackle in the league with a strong 22.5 overall score, based on Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). However, he has torn his ACL in each of the past two seasons and in 2014, Pro Football Focus ranked him as just the No. 36 tackle out of 84 qualified players. Do you consider someone like Gresham, who was a focal point of the Bengals’ offense for multiple seasons, to be a better buy? Does that mantle belong to Freeney, who graded out as one of the best at his position in terms of pass-rush productivity? Or, would you cast your vote for someone else?

In the comment section below, let us know who you think is the second-best free agent on the board and why. 

North Notes: Sims, Gipson, Bennett

Back in April, we learned that the Lions had attempted to re-sign Rob Sims, but the veteran guard hadn’t responded to their contract offer, which was made about three weeks earlier. Asked about that offer, Sims told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, in so many words, that it wasn’t worth considering.

“Without throwing [the Lions] under the bus, and I could, but when we got the offer, we didn’t think, for the time we had put in, 80 straight games, 80 straight starts and some of the things we had played through, the offer was … something that we didn’t deserve,” Sims said. “It wasn’t right for us. That’s, basically, what it boils down to: It just wasn’t right for us.”

With veteran guards like Justin Blalock and Mike Pollak retiring this week, Sims won’t be the next one to announce he’s moving on from the NFL, as he tells Birkett that he can still play, and would like to play. However, “it’s got to be under the right circumstances,” according to the longtime Lion. If he doesn’t get an offer he likes, Sims sounds prepared to move on to the next phase of his life.

Here are a few more Tuesday items from out of the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Having reported to the Browns, safety Tashaun Gipson remains hopeful that he’ll get a long-term contract done with the team, indicating today that the situation is “ongoing,” per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Gipson, the last restricted free agent of 2015 to sign, told reporters that he was disappointed to receive a second-round tender from Cleveland instead of the first-round tender, but noted that some family matters kept him away from OTAs, in addition to his contract situation (Twitter links)
  • As expected, Bears tight end Martellus Bennett participated in minicamp today, and spoke to reporters after the team’s practice. Addressing his desire for a new deal, Bennett said he’s “always” trying to sign a new contract, adding that he thinks every American should be doing the same thing (Twitter links via Adam Jahns and Brad Biggs). Bennett, who confirmed that he expects to report to training camp, wouldn’t say whether or not he asked the Bears to trade him (Twitter links via Biggs and Jeff Dickerson).
  • Speaking to reporters for the first time since taking over the Lions from her late husband, Martha Ford said today that she was disappointed Ndamukong Suh left in free agency, adding that she told him she wanted him to stay (Twitter link via Michael Rothstein of

Lions To Exercise Reiff’s 2016 Option

Exactly a month after general manager Martin Mayhew suggested the Lions had yet to make a decision on the fifth-year option for offensive tackle Riley Reiff, the GM said today that the team will pick up that 2016 option, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).

As I noted in March when Mayhew initially expressed some uncertainty about Reiff’s option, it would’ve been a huge surprise if the club had declined the option, considering how well the young lineman has played at left tackle over the last couple seasons. In 2014, Reiff’s Pro Football Focus grade (subscription required) placed him in a tie for 23rd out of 84 qualified offensive tackles.

By exercising Reiff’s fifth-year option, the Lions will extend the 26-year-old’s rookie contract by one year, keeping him locked up through the 2016 season. If the two sides don’t work out a longer-term agreement that adjusts his ’16 cap number, Reiff will be in line for a salary of $8.07MM for that season.

In addition to confirming that his team would pick up Reiff’s option, Mayhew made a number of other notable comments during his conversation with the media this morning. Here are the highlights, via Birkett, Tim Twentyman of, and Michael Rothstein of

  • Mayhew indicated that he has “empathy” for safety James Ihedigbo, who wants a new deal and didn’t report for the Lions’ voluntary offseason program. The GM is looking forward to discussing Ihedigbo’s contract situation “whenever I see him,” which suggests the team may want the safety to report before any negotiations take place (Twitter link).
  • The Lions spoke to Rob Sims‘ agent three weeks ago and made a contract offer, but haven’t heard back from the offensive lineman’s camp since then (Twitter link).
  • According to Mayhew, Detroit has yet to discuss a potential contract extension with Haloti Ngata, but there’s interest on both sides in getting something done eventually (Twitter link). While the GM expressed optimism about getting a veteran defensive tackle locked up, he also praised the depth at the position in this year’s draft, noting that the class is “especially” deep on the defensive line (Twitter link).
  • Although the Lions have had some dialogue about a new contract for linebacker DeAndre Levy, nothing is imminent on that front (Twitter link).
  • The Lions cut offensive lineman Rodney Austin after domestic violence allegations, but Mayhew said the team hasn’t closed the door on bringing him back if and when his legal issues are resolved (Twitter link).

NFC Mailbags: Saints, Lions, Bears, Vikings

We took a look at’s AFC mailbags earlier this morning. Let’s now shift our focus to the NFC…

  • Mike Triplett believes the only way the Saints move on from Drew Brees is if they are confident in their backup plan. While the quarterback’s production has dropped, Triplett is still confident Brees will be one of the best at his position in 2015.
  • While the Lions could fill the majority of their roster holes via the draft, Michael Rothstein focuses on a couple of positions that could be fixed in free agency. The writer points to left guard, suggesting free agents Justin Blalock or Rob Sims.
  • 2015 will be a big season for Bears defensive end Cornelius Washington, writes Michael C. Wright. The player still has two years left on his contract, but he hasn’t shown much during his brief time in the NFL. With all the veteran defenders on the roster, there’s a chance that Washington could be on the outside looking in.
  • Ben Goessling points to safety Harrison Smith as being the Vikings player most likely to receive an extension prior to the season. The writer suggests the organization also explore an extension for kicker Blair Walsh.
  • Rob Demovsky says the Packers should now focus their attention on locking up defensive tackle Mike Daniels and cornerback Casey Hayward. However, considering the money thrown around this offseason, Demovsky says it may be in the players’ best interests to explore free agency.

NFC Notes: Bennett, Lions, Rams, Jennings

Speaking to reporters in Arizona today, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said that defensive end Michael Bennett hasn’t requested a trade and is happy in Seattle, tweets Terry Blount of

A report last week indicated that Bennett wanted a new contract, and perhaps a trade to Dan Quinn‘s Falcons, but even if that’s the case, it doesn’t look like the Seahawks have any plans to move him. For what it’s worth, Schneider appeared to dodge the issue of whether the defensive end wants his contract reworked, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.

Schneider also confirmed that defensive lineman Jesse Williams will be re-added to the Seahawks’ roster soon, indicating that Williams was only waived as a procedural transaction (Twitter link via Condotta).

Here’s more out of the NFC:

  • Lions GM Martin Mayhew confirmed today to reporters, including Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News (Twitter link), that his team is in talks with free agent guard Rob Sims about a new deal.
  • The Rams are keeping their eye on free agent offensive linemen like Joe Barksdale, Stefen Wisniewski, and Justin Blalock, but the club isn’t expected to sign any of those players this week, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • While the Cowboys aren’t likely to make any other noteworthy free agent investments, Todd Archer of suggests the club could go bargain shopping, identifying offensive tackle, safety, and return man as three potential areas of need.
  • Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took responsibility for the organization’s decision to not re-sign embattled defensive end Greg Hardy. “Whose call would you think that would be?” Richardson asked’s David Newton. When asked about the owner’s logic, Richardson replied that the Panthers “do the right things.”
  • When wideout Greg Jennings left the Packers for the Vikings in 2013, the veteran displayed some animosity towards the organization. However, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson made it clear that those kinds of comments wouldn’t dissuade his team from pursuing the 31-year-old. “We’re not that sensitive about things like that,” Thompson said (via Jason Wilde of “Players are players. Players say things. Sometimes we make mistakes [too].”

Rob Sims Wants To Return To Lions

For years, the Lions had a revolving door at the left guard position. Then, in 2010, the Lions traded for Rob Sims and finally found stability at that spot. Now, Sims is eligible for free agency and he says that he wants to stay put, as Tim Twentyman of writes.

This is our home,” Sims said of Detroit. “My children were born here. Me and my wife have built our family here and bought businesses here. Detroit is never ever going to leave me. My heart and my charity work will always be here. But yeah, I would love to stay here, love to.”

Sims, 31, struggled early on in 2014 as he continued to recover from offseason injuries. He allowed two sacks against the Bills in Week 5 and garnered a negative grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required) in half of the Lions’ first ten games. But once his injuries started to get behind him, Sims played well down the stretch. Starting in Week 11 against the Cardinals Sims earned a positive grade from PFF in every game.

The Lions have already begun making changes to their o-line after it struggled badly as a whole in 2014. They’ve informed long-time center Dominic Raiola they don’t plan on bringing him back in 2015. They are expected to bring in another offensive lineman, possibly a guard, via free agency or the draft, but they might want to maintain some stability and keep the experienced Sims. The Lions don’t have a ton of depth on the roster at guard after Sims and Larry Warford, which could help Sims earn a role in 2015.

Extra Points: Haslett, Rams, Lions, Draft

Let’s take a look at some notes from around the league on this Christmas evening…

  • Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett certainly has an uncertain future, but the coach told’s John Keim that he’s only focused on the holiday season. “Whatever happens, happens,” Haslett said.
  • This upcoming offseason will be key for the Rams, writes Joan Niesen of According to the writer, the organization’s claim that they’re one year away from contention is getting “stale,” but the team showed flashes of dominance this season. Solidifying an inconsistent offense would be key for the team’s turnaround, opines Niesen.
  • Lions left guard Rob Sims has been a consistent presence on the Lions’ offensive line, and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that the upcoming free agent has been “making a late-season contract-year push.” “I think early in the season I was trying to overcome some stuff and dealing with some stuff and I got over it,” Sims said. “I was struggling a little bit, but I would never use that as an excuse. I’ll take my lick. I think I returned to form shortly after that, after the first Minnesota game…I feel like I’ve returned to form, so I think that’s me.”
  • The State’s Josh Kendall tweets that South Carolina running back Mike Davis will be entering the NFL Draft. The junior rushed for 927 yards and nine touchdowns this past season.
  • Yahoo’s Rand Getlin tweets that MSU defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun could be entering the upcoming draft. The player’s mother has been meeting with a variety of agents, and Getlin says the player is considering leaving school. However, Getlin also tweets that some believe Calhoun will ultimately stick around for his senior season.

NFC Notes: Sims, Redskins, Boone, Vikings

Veteran guard Rob Sims hasn’t spoken to the Lions about a new contract as he enters the final year of his deal, and both he and the team are prepared to wait until the offseason to address the issue. As Sims tells Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he’d like to remain a Lion beyond this season, but he knows the decision may ultimately be out of his hands. “I would love to be here, I’ve done a lot of stuff with charity, I’ve done a lot of stuff with business around the city, and I would love to finish what I started here as far as trying to help build this offensive line,” Sims said. “But, hey, when I was in Seattle five years ago, I thought for sure, ‘Oh, I’ll be a Seahawk for life.’ So I’m a little less naïve to the fact.”

More from the NFC:

  • The Redskins have appealed a June ruling that canceled several of the team’s trademarks, reports the Washington Times. The original decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office board had no empirical effect on the Redskins, as the team still reserves the right seek legal action against unauthorized uses of its trademarks.
  • Alex Boone is steadfast in his holdout from 49ers camp, but it’s been a costly decision. Per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, Boone’s fines are piling up — the guard is subject to nearly $900K in penalties, which includes a $30K daily fine for missing training camp, the loss of a portion of his 2011 signing bonus, and a missed offseason workout bonus. If Boone does end up reporting to San Francisco’s facilities, the team would likely forgive the fines, as the Seahawks did with Marshawn Lynch.
  • The Vikings have a healthy competition at strong safety, writes Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t guaranteeing that Jamarca Sanford, who started 13 games at FS last year, will remain atop the depth chart. “We’re going to divide it up,” said Zimmer. “I want to play these guys quite a bit this week. I want to see how it goes from there and then try to figure out the rest of the pecking order as we get going. Hopefully, this will be a big week for those safeties.”

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Sunday Roundup: Sims, ‘Skins, Clausen

Let’s swing around the league to round up some links this afternoon:

  • Yesterday, we posted a tweet from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News indicating that guard Rob Sims wanted to reach an extension with the Lions, and today McCosky has published a full-length piece on Sims’ hopes to avoid free agency.
  • Rich Tandler of writes that the Redskins will probably carry nine offensive linemen this season (they carried eight in 2013), and he also examines the team’s punter battle.
  • Matt Maiocco of notes that the 49ers have $5.725MM in cap space after the Colin Kaepernick extension, the Blake Costanzo signing, and the post-June 1 removal of Carlos Rogers‘ salary from the books. However, Maiocco writes that there is no indication the team is close to new deals with any players seeking extensions.
  • Bill Williamson of believes Jonathan Baldwin has no chance of making the 49ers roster as a receiver.
  • Head coach Marc Trestman says that the Bears‘ signing of Jimmy Clausen has nothing to do with the performance of Jordan Palmer, according to Blake Schuster of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (subscription required) looks at five pressing questions facing the Rams this summer.
  • Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post finishes his list of the top second-and third-round draft choices from last month’s draft to keep an eye on in 2014.
  • Rich Cimini of, in response to a reader who wondered if Jets GM John Idzik did not pursue a No. 1 receiver this offseason because of the talent that could be available in the 2015 free agent class of receivers, writes that newly-acquired Eric Decker is, and will be, the No. 1 guy in New York. Cimini appears to imply that the Jets will not be active in the elite wide receiver market next season.
  • Mike DiRocco of examines the Jaguars‘ salary cap situation in 2014 and how much of their $28.4MM in cap space they might roll over into 2015.