The Lions announced Saturday that they have re-signed defensive end Kerry Hyder and long snapper Don Muhlbach. Hyder was signed to a one year $680,000 contract and Muhlbach was also signed for one year but will receive $1.1 million.
Don Muhlbach will be returning on another one year deal. This has been the standard operating procedure for some years now in Detroit. The former pro bowler has been a member of the Lions since 2004, the longest tenured player on the team by far. Muhlbach trails former Lions center Dominic Raiola for second on the list of all-time games played for the team. Both are well behind the leader, former kicker Jason Hanson, by over 100 games. Muhlbach has continued to do a fine job as the long snapper. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Kerry Hyder is returning after a torn Achilles tendon ended his 2017 season before it began. The defensive line missed him while he was out. They struggled to rush the passer with any consistency all season. Getting Hyder back will help improve the unit. As a relative unknown, Hyder notched eight sacks in 2016, good enough to lead the team. The defensive line will surely continue to be a focal point this offseason. With fellow defensive end Ziggy Ansah returning under the franchise tag plus the potential to add new players via free agency and the draft, don’t be surprised to see an increase in productivity in the upcoming season.
Free agency is upon us. It was wise for general manager Bob Quinn to wrap up these re-signings before diving into the deep-end of the offseason. Both Hyder and Muhlbach make perfect sense to bring back. Neither is likely to be a major hit to the team’s cap and they’re positions that did need to be addressed one way or another. I’m excited to see what else is in store for the next couple weeks.