2018 Detroit Lions Free Agent Tracker/Breakdown

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Stay Here For Your Latest Detroit Lions Signings And Departures.

Welcome to the 2018 season! Detroit has a brand new head coach in former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, and that means a lot of changes are happening to Detroit. Jim Bob Cooter was kept as the team’s offensive coordinator, but all fresh faces appear in Detroit as GM Bob Quinn looks to finally start building his type of team. While he has added some solid players, he now adds his coach that he believes can lead this team to a Superbowl.

It all starts with the players he brings in. Detroit has roughly $27 million in cap space, before rookies, which means they can spend some cash and possibly bring in a star or two. Stay here for the latest Lions news as I update you on every Detroit Lion and if they re-sign, depart, or if they add a new member to the team.

Signings, Visits, And Departures:

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Sunday, March 11: Lions Re-Sign Long Snapper Don Muhlbach To A One-Year Deal.

The longest lasting Detroit Lion comes back for another run. The only remaining member of the 2008 0-16 team signed a one year deal for $1.1 million and it was a no-brainer for the team. Muhlbach is one of the best long snappers in the NFL and deserves the money.

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Sunday, March 11: Lions Re-Sign Defensive End Kerry Hyder

No surprise here as the former starting defensive end Kerry Hyder was an exclusive rights free agent, it was a no-brainer for him to come back to the Detroit Lions. Hyder had an excellent 2016 season, finishing with eight sacks, but his 2017 season was never a thing as the first preseason game saw him tear his Achilles and miss the entire season.

The deal is for only one year for $555K, so a very cheap return for a productive player that can provide some help on the struggling defensive line.

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Tuesday, March 13: Running Back DeMarco Murray Visits Lions

While supposedly visiting on Monday, turns out the visit for former Tennessee Titan running back DeMarco Murray is visited on Tuesday. Just like Stewart, the Lions need to add a running back, and a free agent addition isn’t the worst way to do it, but expect a free agent addition and a draft pick to come to Detroit in 2018.

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Tuesday, March 13: Lions Re-Sign Safety Tavon Wilson For Two Years/$7 Million

One question mark that was brought up for the Lions was upcoming free agent safety, Tavon Wilson. Cornerback Quandre Diggs was moved to safety when Wilson went down with a shoulder injury, and with his good play, it was 50/50 that Wilson would return. Patricia obviously sees Wilson as a part of the future with this contract.

With Wilson coming back, the team most likely won’t go after any other free agent safeties. Safety Miles Killebrew will have to step his game up if he wants to make the 2018 team roster, as Diggs could officially make the move from cornerback to safety.

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Tuesday, March 13: Lions Plan To Sign Linebacker Devon Kennard To Three-Year $18.75 Million Dollar Deal

This isn’t good news for former starting linebacker Tahir Whitehead as Detroit adds a solid linebacker from the New York Giants, Devon Kennard. The deal is for $18.75 million, roughly $6.25 a year isn’t a bad price for a starting linebacker. If you aren’t too sure about the signing, check out this tweet about the newest Lion.

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Tuesday, March 13: Lions Plan To Sign Linebacker Christian Jones

This 100% means Whitehead is out of Detroit. Patricia sees the linebacker position as the weakest on the roster, and before free agency even starts, he is boosting it to get two starters to help the weak front seven in Detroit.

The deal is for two years, $7.75 million. While these moves aren’t splashy, they are needed for Detroit and it saves them draft picks as they can now focus on other parts of the team that needs help.

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Tuesday, March 13: Defensive Tackle Haloti Ngata May Be Going To The Philidelphia Eagles

One of the biggest weaknesses on the Detroit Lions is the defensive line, and they may have gotten weaker. Former starting defensive tackle Haloti Ngata may be taking his talents to the Eagles. While reports have stated Ngata will sign a one-year deal with the team, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press says that might not be true

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Tuesday, March 13: Lions Re-Sign Nevin Lawson For Two Years

While the Lions were supposedly in play for cornerback Malcolm Butler, they decided to bring back cornerback Nevin Lawson for a two year deal for $9.2 million, with incentives that could move the number up to $10 million.

Detroit needed to make a move for a number two cornerback, and while they believe rookie cornerback Teez Tabor is the future, they still think he needs time to develop, and this could all be a one year deal for Lawson, as a poor 2018 could mean an end with the Lions.

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Tuesday, March 13: Lions Host A Visit With DeShawn Shead

The Lions hosted a free agent cornerback in former Seattle Seahawk DeShawn Shead. With Lawson signing, it may be the end of additions for cornerbacks, but Detroit wouldn’t be in the wrong to add another depth cornerback as D.J. Hayden hasn’t been re-signed as well.

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Tuesday, March 13: Lions To Host Frank Gore On Wednesday

While there hasn’t been any word on DeMarco Murray, and Jonathan Stewart signed with the New York Giants, Detroit is still looking for a veteran running back and they are hosting Frank Gore tomorrow. Gore would be a good addition and the best possible veteran running back the team could add. Gore and a rookie back mixing up the carries could give Stafford a better running game.

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Wednesday, March 14: Lions Re-Sign Linebacker Nick Bellore

Depth is needed at the linebacker position as starting linebackers Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow were replaced so far in free agency. Backup linebacker, and part-time fullback, Nick Bellore was re-signed today, no details of the contract have been released.

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Wednesday, March 14: Tight End Darren Fells Signs With Cleveland Browns

Bad news for the Detroit Lions and their depth at tight end. With starting tight end Eric Ebron already on the trade block, and with a positive 2017 season, Fells had a good chance to return to Detroit. The price tag he got in Cleveland was too good to pass up though, as he signed a three-year deal for $12 million. Detroit wouldn’t match that for a backup tight end.

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Wednesday, March 14: Cornerback D.J. Hayden Signs With Jacksonville

Detroit made a smart move here letting Hayden go. After a disappointing 2017 season, Jacksonville didn’t see anything wrong with the former first-round pick and signed him to a three-year $19 million dollar deal. Detroit was NOT going to pay Hayden that much to be a number four cornerback and let him walk.

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Wednesday, March 14: Detroit Lions Cut Eric Ebron

In a shocking move, the Detroit Lions have cut their starting tight end, Eric Ebron. Ebron was due $8.25 million dollars at the 4 p.m. deadline today, and an hour before it hit, GM Bob Quinn let him go after no trade suitors were able to get a deal done. This only means that Detroit is in the market for a starting tight end with him and Fells gone.

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Wednesday, March 14: Lions Tender Wide Receiver TJ Jones

With free agency underway, the Lions have made a move, nothing earth-shattering, but wide receiver TJ Jones has been tendered, meaning he will be paid $1.9 million in 2018, and if he signs elsewhere, the Lions will receive a sixth-round pick for him. This was the smart move by Quinn as Jones saw an increased role and better production in 2017. While the Lions would be ok if he leaves, he still brings depth to the wide receiver position. If he leaves the Lions do get an extra pick that they don’t have, which also helps them out.

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Wednesday, March 14: Lions Sign Cornerback DeShawn Shead

After missing out on cornerback Malcolm Butler, Detroit moved on to another cornerback and it was DeShawn Shead. Shead signed a one-year deal with the Lions for $3.5 million, and with incentives, could be up to $6.5 million. Detroit needed to add some type of help with D.J. Hayden leaving, and Shead is the man to take over.

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Wednesday, March 14: Lions Hosting Defensive Tackle Quinton Dial

Detroit needs depth on the defensive line, and they are now hosting defensive tackle Quinton Dial for that spot. Dial won’t be a starter, but a rotational piece on the line. This leads to believe that most likely Detroit will be addressing the defensive tackle position in the upcoming NFL draft, as they haven’t signed any big name defensive lineman and let Haloti Ngata go.

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Wednesday, March 14: Lions Re-Sign Quarterback Jake Rudock

Signing his ERFA tender, backup quarterback Jake Rudock is back with the Detroit Lions. Detroit needed to focus more on other positions than a backup quarterback, so they went with Rudock who took over the backup role last season. Rudock’s deal will be for one year, no word on the amount of money but it will be cheap.

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Wednesday, March 14: Lions Plan On Hosting LeGarrette Blount On Friday

While running back Frank Gore is in Detroit as of 11 p.m. Wednesday night, the Lions are still hosting other running back LeGarrette Blount, who is coming off of back to back Superbowl wins, one with the New England Patriots, the other with the Philadelphia Eagles. If Gore doesn’t sign with the Lions, look for them to sign Blount as the power back veteran to help the upcoming rookie.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.