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Bengals lose Marion.


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DETROIT (AP) -- Three-time Pro Bowl safety Brock Marion signed a four-year contract with the Lions on Thursday.

The Miami Dolphins released the 11-year veteran earlier this month to free salary-cap space after he had 81 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles last season.

Marion has 20 interceptions in six seasons with the Dolphins, three of which he was selected to the Pro Bowl.

"Obviously, he's still playing at a high level,'' Lions president and general manager Matt Millen said. "Generally, you don't want to take on a contract with an older player, but Brock still moves around and looks like he's 25.''

Marion will turn 34 this summer, but has been healthy throughout much of his career. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder has missed only one start since 1996 and has started 138 games of the 166 he's played.

"He takes care of himself,'' Millen said. "And he's a smart player, who will really help our secondary a lot.''

Marion will start at free safety next to strong safety Brian Walker, a former teammate from Miami. The Lions cut safety Corey Harris earlier this month.

Marion, who has 863 career tackles and 28 interceptions, played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1993-97.

The Lions have addressed some of their many needs this offseason by signing offensive lineman Damien Woody, cornerback Fernando Bryant, receiver Tai Streets, running back Shawn Bryson and offensive guard David Loverne.

Free agent linebacker Ian Gold, who had a season-ending knee injury last year in Denver, visited the Lions on Thursday. Gold is a former Michigan standout.

Under first-year coach Steve Mariucci, the Lions won five games last season -- the combined total from the previous two years.

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I didn't think he was a real target, as much as a backup in case we couldn't get Beckett. I think we got the one we wanted in this case.

Exactly, we didn't miss out on Marion. He was a contigency plan in case we didn't re-sign Beckett. Marion said all along he REALLY wanted to play for Marvin but we never got seriously into negotiations, just the basics to determine what it would cust if we couldn't re-sign Beckett. I think the fact we re-signed Beckett yesterday and Marion signed with Detroit today shows he was waiting to see what Marvin was going to do, obviously Marvin got the exact player he wanted.

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Everything I read everywhere, indicated that the interest was on the part of Marion, not the Bengals, sure they flirted a little, they had to, both of their safties were free agents...But they got Herring at the start of free agency, and then waited for the market to settle before getting Beckett....worked out pretty well if you ask me...I think the subject should read Marion loses out on the Bengals....

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Think of the big picture guys.....if we bring in these older players, sign them to a 3-4 year contract with a big signing bonu,s which is overloaded till year 2-3...it puts us in a bind(salary cap wise) in the future...especially if they underperform or get injured. I'm all for bringing in these guys for a 1-2 yr contract, but the market is hot and they don't have to settle for it, obviously. I'd much rather keep us cap happy and go 8-8 this year than be stuck in grind for the next 4-5 years. Remember, we're only in yr 2 of serious rebuilding.

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