Denver Trades Tatum Bell To Detroit For Dre' Bly

Thursday, March 1st 2007, 9:44 pm
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Lions will trade cornerback Dre' Bly to the Denver Broncos for running back Tatum Bell, offensive tackle George Foster and a fifth-round pick, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the trade can't be finalized until Friday.

Both teams seemed to fill needs with the move, which gives Denver a Pro Bowl caliber player to replace the late Darrent Williams and allows Detroit to have more options in free agency and with the No. 2 pick overall in April. The Lions gave Bly, who has one year left on his contract, permission to seek a trade and seemed to add assets instead of releasing him with nothing to show for it.

Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said he couldn't confirm any deal.

Bly had three interceptions last season after making 16 the previous three years with the Lions. He played in St. Louis from 1999-2002. Bly has 33 career interceptions.

With Bly playing opposite Champ Bailey, the Broncos would have one of the most formidable cornerback tandems in the NFL. Domonique Foxworth will head to training camp as the nickel back.

Bell and Foster struggled last season, briefly losing their starting jobs at various times. Bell split snaps with rookie Mike Bell and Foster was demoted in favor of Adam Meadows.

Both, however, will help Detroit because of running back Kevin Jones (foot) is coming back from an injury and the team struggled to find a solid lineman to play opposite left tackle Jeff Backus.

Bell had 2,342 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns over three seasons with the Broncos.

Foster started in 13 games last year in Denver after starting in 16 the previous two years. He played in one game as a rookie in 2003.

By adding Foster, the Lions addressed one of their glaring needs. The move also gives the team more options with its first pick, because many had projected Detroit to take offensive tackle Joe Thomas of Wisconsin.

Bell was a good friend of Williams and played with him at Oklahoma State.

The Broncos are also dealing with the death of backup running back Damien Nash, who died Saturday night in St. Louis after a charity basketball game. His funeral is Monday.