The Return of Rashean Mathis Represents Good News for Detroit Lions’ Defense


Arguably, other than the 2015 NFL Draft, it was the last, biggest albatross hanging around the neck of the Detroit Lions this offseason.

What would happen to cornerback Rashean Mathis? Would the veteran cornerback sign somewhere else given plenty of opportunities, thus leaving a major hole in the Lions’ backfield, or would he return to Detroit, the team that took the chance on him and has helped resurrect his career?

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Wednesday afternoon, that question was answered, with Mathis inking a two-year extension with the team. This move came despite the cornerback having plenty of other suiters elsewhere, and likely seeing plenty of different offers flashed his way.

Instead of getting involved with other corners, be it veterans or younger reclamation projects, the Lions stuck to their guns with Mathis, a player who has keyed the development of Darius Slay. Now, Detroit doesn’t have to scour a drying market for a player that might not fit their scheme, because they know Mathis has already proven himself capable of doing so and learning the needed terminologies.

Over the next two years, the Lions will also likely squeeze more out of Mathis in a motivational and leadership role. If he worked his magic with Slay, there is certainly a chance that Detroit will draft another young cornerback fairly high this May with the hopes of Mathis showing him the ropes. The team has lacked this type of positional godfather, and needs them wherever they can find them.

With the Mathis situation now resolved, the Lions can finish out the 2015 free agency period however they might choose. They could add a veteran receiver or an offensive lineman to help chip in, but with a steady veteran presence returning to the secondary, that’s a spot that they need not worry about from here until the draft.

Other than finding suitable replacements for Ndamukong Suh, the status of Mathis was probably the second biggest story of the offseason. Had the team lost him as well, it might have been one too many key blows to successfully overcome.

Now that the case has been resolved with a positive outcome, the Lions can stop worrying and set out to confidently finish their offseason.

Next: 10 Free Agents Still Available for Lions

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