Detroit Lions bring tight end Matt Sokol in on reserve/futures contract

Players signed to reserve/futures contract aren’t all that interesting most of the time, but the Detroit Lions did sign someone local football fans might be familiar with.

The end of the season for non-playoff teams means starting to fill out spots on a 90-man offseason roster, and the Detroit Lions signed nine players to reserve/futures contracts on Monday. The most interesting names on that list are probably tight end Shane Zylstra and quarterback Steven Montez.

On Wednesday the Lions added another player to the mix on a reserve/futures deal–tight end Matt Sokol.

If Sokol’s name vaguely rings a bell to you as a Lions fan, there’s a reason. He played collegiately at Michigan State (he’s also a Rochester, MI native), and he signed a reserve/futures contract with Detroit after the 2019 season. He lasted with the Lions through 2020 training camp, then he was cut and later signed to the practice squad.

Sokol orginally landed with the Los Angeles Chargers after going undrafted in 2019. He landed back with them in 2020, playing in two regular season games with no stats. He spent this past season on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad.

Could Matt Sokol stick with the Lions?

The Lions’ tight end dept chart is of course led by T.J. Hockenson, with Brock Wright, Zylstra, Hunter Bryant, Jared Pinkney and Charlie Taumoepeau also under contract for 2022. At a glance, only Hockenson and Wright seem like locks for roster spots as things move toward next season.  Zylstra and Bryant are solid possibilities to stick around, either for the 53-man roster or the practice squad.

The Lions’ previous regime gave Sokol a shot, but he never made it onto the active roster. The odds he sticks in a notable way this time around feel remote, but he’s getting a clean slate with Dan Campbell and company heading into the offseason.