The Lions had safety DeShon Elliott in for a free agent visit on Wednesday, and he didn’t leave town without a deal.
Free agent safety DeShon Elliott has been somewhat easy to tie to the Detroit Lions, who need help at the position, in these secondary waves of free agency. ESPN’s Field Yates reported Wednesday afternoon the Lions had Elliott in for a visit, and a short time later NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the two sides had agreed to a one-year deal. Josina Anderson added the deal is worth up to $3.65 million.
Elliott was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2018 draft out of the University of Texas. To say injuries have been a major factor in his career would be an understatement. He missed his entire rookie season with a fractured forearm. Then a knee injury ended his second season after six games. A bicep/pectoral injury ended his 2021 campaign six games in as well.
In his one fully healthy season, 2020, Elliott started all 16 games and tallied 80 total tackles (51 solo, three tackles for loss) with four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and 2.5 sacks. He’s still young, set to turn 25 on April 21.
DeShon Elliott has an opportunity with the Lions
Tracy Walker was re-signed this offseason, so he’s got one safety spot held down capably. But the other safety spot is an issue for Detroit, as Will Harris played better at cornerback when pressed into action there last season and he’s lined up to play a multi-faceted role in 2022.
Kory Woods of Woodward Sports uncovered a significant highlight for Elliott.
That’s Derrick Henry who Elliott squared up, leveled cleanly, stopped in his tracks and knocked out of the game (presumably only briefly). So he’s clearly not afraid to bring a big hit when opportunities come, but that could be what’s gotten him into some injury trouble too.
During that 2020 season with the Ravens (h/t to Pride of Detroit), Elliott played 64 percent of his snaps at free safety and the remainder either down in the box or at a corner spot. That versatility is something the Lions need, and he should have an opportunity to earn a starting job.