Detroit Lions World – Hayden & Wagner Sign, Levy Released
By Matt Urben
It’s Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours since the start of the official free agency period, and Detroit has already made drastic changes to the roster. It’s been a crazy couple of days, so let’s get you caught up on the most recent transactions and stories in this week’s edition of Detroit Lions World.
Drastic Offensive Line Moves: The Lions didn’t hesitate to answer the questions surrounding their offensive line. Both right tackle, Riley Reiff, and right guard, Larry Warford, have departed to new teams — Reiff to the Vikings and Warford to the Saints. In response, Bob Quinn signed the best free agent right tackle on the market, in Ricky Wagner. The former Ravens offensive lineman signed for around $9 million a year.
But what about the guard spot? Warford was arguably Detroit’s best offensive lineman over the past few seasons, when healthy. So Detroit scheduled a visit with Packers Pro-Bowl guard, T.J. Lang, which would be another upgrade. As I wrote yesterday, Green Bay has maintained they could potentially match any offer. Lang is also expected to visit Seattle.
Defensive Signings: Detroit has agreed to a contract with the former 1st-round pick, D.J. Hayden, a defensive back formerly with the Raiders. The Lions also struck a deal with linebacker Paul Worrilow — formerly with the Atlanta Falcons. Detroit then signed Cornelius Washington, a 27-year-old defensive end, who played previously with the Chicago Bears.
The Lions tendered a couple of their own players in Kerry Hyder, Brandon Copeland and T.J. Jones. Last night, reports broke that Detroit agreed to a deal with Akeem Spence, 25-year-old defensive tackle, formerly with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Goodbye DeAndre Levy: The Lions shocked the football world when announcing they were releasing often-injured, all-pro linebacker, DeAndre Levy. Levy received a good deal of criticism after he missed nearly two full seasons since signing his massive extension in Detroit a few years ago. Some fans will say good riddance, but smart ones understand that Levy played his ass off for years when the Lions were irrelevant.
The majority of his career in Detroit, he was underpaid and insanely productive as a third-round pick from Wisconsin. Fans, in my opinion, unfairly criticized Levy’s toughness when they didn’t know the extent of his injury over the past two years. Nonetheless, Levy left with a great deal of class, saying that Detroit deserves a championship.
Around SideLIon Report: We continued our prospect evaluations with the NFL Combine wrapping up. This week, we look at Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt, ask whether Miles Killebrew can become starting strong safety for the Lions, and posted our first mock draft of the year. Stay tuned for more Lions news and updates from free agency over the coming days!
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