Pearson to Detroit; Kelly next?
Free agent safety Kalvin Pearson was visiting with the Lions today, and it looks like he'll be staying for a while.
Pearson's agent, Michael Hawthorne, tells us the restricted free agent has signed an offer sheet for a three-year, $3.5-million contract with a $1.1-million signing bonus. The Bucs now have until 4 p.m. on March 12 to match the deal, pursuant to NFL rules that allow teams seven days to match offers to restricted free agents.
Also, Brian Kelly is also visiting with the Lions today. There's been no word yet on the team's level of interest in him.
The Bucs' tendered Pearson a bottom-level restricted free agent offer of $927,000, meaning the team has the right to match any competing offer but is not entitled to draft-pick compensation. Pearson didn't sign the tender, preferring to test the market first. The Bucs are unlikely to match.
"Personally, I don't think they're going to match the offer," Hawthorne said.
Pearson played safety in Tampa Bay but serve a role as a nickelback in Detroit, Hawthorne said. Pearson originally entered the league as a cornerback.