The Detroit Lions have re-signed another free agent, agreeing to a one-year deal with center Evan Brown.
The Detroit Lions continue to get some internal business done before the new league year. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and confirmed by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions have agreed to terms with center Evan Brown on a one-year deal.
Brown was scheduled to be a restricted free agent. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed, but Birkett added it will be below what would’ve been the restricted free agent tender value ($2.4 million).
The Lions were Brown’s fourth NFL organization when he landed with them in 2020. In 2021 he became a critically important player for the Detroit offensive line, starting 12 games at center after Frank Ragnow was sidelined for the season by turf toe.
Brown was also very good in Ragnow’s place. He finished ninth among NFL centers in ESPN’s pass block win rate, with a 66.8 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked him 17th at the position. Brown allowed just one sack, and committed just four penalties (the last number via Pro Football Reference).
Re-signing Evan Brown bolsters Lions offensive line depth
Brown showed he can be a starter in the league with his first real opportunity to play, which invited the notion he had played himself into landing somewhere else this offseason. But the Lions ultimately controlled his rights as a restricted free agent if they wanted to, then as momentum apparently built toward a deal they didn’t tender him.
The Lions never had their projected starting five offensive lineman together for a game last season. Opportunity knocked for some others then, and Brown answered the door. He was legitimately one of the league’s better centers after Ragnow went down, while taking over as the literal center to one of the team’s best units. He’s valuable depth, and the Lions prioritized bringing Brown back.