Tampa Bay restricted free agent Kalvin Pearson declined the Bucs' one-year contract offer worth $927,000 before free agency began on Feb. 29 because he felt he could receive more money and a longer commitment from another team on the open market.
Pearson was apparently right.
His agent, Michael Hawthorne, informed PewterReport.com on Wednesday afternoon that Pearson has been offered a three-year contract worth $3.5 million by the Detroit Lions. The contract offer includes a $1.1 million signing bonus.
Tampa Bay has until 4:00 p.m. ET on Mar. 12 to match Detroit's offer. If the Bucs decline to match the offer, Pearson will become a Lion and the Bucs will not receive any form of compensation since he entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent.
Pearson, 29, has established himself as a solid special teams contributor, notching 61 tackles, including a team-leading 21 special teams takedowns in 2007.
While he's played in 51 career games, Pearson has started just two games on defense. Last season, Pearson recorded 19 tackles in that particular area.
Tampa Bay has starting safeties Tanard Jackson and Jermaine Phillips and backups Sabby Piscitelli and Will Allen under contract for the 2008 season.
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