Lions’ G.M. disputes Vernon Butler’s claim that he was told he was going to Detroit
Vernon Butler was glad to be the Panthers’ first-round draft pick on Thursday night, but he was also disappointed to go 30th. Butler claims he was told by the Lions that they were going to take him with the 16th overall pick.
Butler was quoted before the draft as saying that the Lions had promised him that if he was still on the board at No. 16, he was going to Detroit. As it turned out, the Lions passed on Butler and chose Taylor Decker instead.
Asked after becoming a Panther about the Lions telling him they’d pick him, Butler said, “That’s what they said, but they say a lot of things.”
But Lions General Manager Bob Quinn says the Lions told Butler no such thing.
“No one from my staff, or the coaching staff, have ever promised a player that we were going to take them at any position,” Quinn said.
Perhaps the Lions told Butler they wanted him on the team, and Butler interpreted that as meaning they were definitely going to draft him. There was clearly a misunderstanding between the two sides, and it’s easy to see why Butler is disappointed: The difference between going 16th and going 30th is more than $2.5 million.