Lions re-sign K Hanson and G Peterman, rework Culpepper's deal

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Schwartz wasn't giving much away Tuesday.

However, a roster move announced almost as an afterthought might have been the biggest insight into the rookie coach's plans for a team that went 0-16 last season.

Daunte Culpepper, QB
Detroit Lions
2008 Statistics
Attempts: 115

Completions: 60

Yards: 786

TD/INT: 4/6

While team president Tom Lewand was telling the media that the team had signed potential free agents Jason Hanson and Stephen Peterman to long-term deals, he remembered something else.

"I suppose I can also let you know at this point that Daunte Culpepper has renegotiated his contract for 2009," Lewand said. "I think we are now prepared to go forward with Daunte in our quarterback mix."

Culpepper, who came out of retirement midway through last year's 0-16 season, was due to receive a $2.5 million roster bonus later this month, but Lewand said that would no longer happen.

Schwartz said the team is still discussing all options at quarterback, including the other four that played for them last season -- Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson -- but the Culpepper renegotiation points to him as the favorite among that group.

An e-mail seeking comment was sent to Culpepper, who represents himself.

Schwartz also talked about his plans to meet with Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Stafford is considered a strong possibility for Detroit, which owns the first pick in April's draft.

"It won't just be me -- our whole staff will meet with Matt Stafford at the combine," Schwartz said.

The coach wouldn't tip his hand as to whether or not the team is leaning toward Stafford, but he did emphasize the importance of both a team's quarterback and getting a No. 1 pick right.

"When you've got the first overall pick -- when you look at that slot and that money -- it's a different animal than anything else," he said. "I've always said quarterback is the most important position on the field. When you look at successful teams, you need a long-term solution there, not a series of stopgaps."

Detroit signed Hanson, their kicker since 1992, to a four-year deal.

"Jason's been a cornerstone of this franchise for a long time, and he might have just have had the best season of his career," Lewand said. "I wouldn't put anything past Jason -- at the end of this deal, he'll be pushing 43, and he might just be getting into stride."

The Lions signed Peterman, a starting guard, for five more seasons. NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports that Peterman's deal was for $15 million, with $5.5 million guaranteed.

That means four of last year's five starting offensive linemen will be back, but Schwartz was quick to point out that he still plans to upgrade a unit that struggled badly in 2008.

"Just because we've got four-fifths of last year's starters on the roster doesn't mean that all four of them will be starting in September," he said.

Schwartz did rule out two controversial players that are on the market -- cornerback Adam Jones and quarterback Michael Vick. Jones played for Schwartz in Tennessee early in his roller-coaster career.

"We want to keep a lot of options open, but I don't think those are things we could pursue as a franchise," he said.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report

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