Detroit Lions bring back linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

After a year with the Houston Texans, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin is coming back to the Detroit Lions.

On Wednesday night, the Detroit Lions made a signing. According to his agent, Brian McLaughlin of Vayner Sports, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin has agreed to terms on deal to return to Detroit. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but it’s presumably a one-year deal.

Maybin was drafted by the Lions in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. He was primarily a special teamer for his first four seasons. Then he started 11 games in 2021, with 82 total tackles, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles over 15 total games.

Reeves-Maybin got a nice deal (two years, $7.5 million) from the Houston Texans in 2022 free agency, though it surely drove him out of the Lions’ price range to keep him. After playing the third-most special teams snaps on the team last season (390), but just 88 defensive snaps over all 17 games, he was easily released by the Texans.

The Lions replaced Reeves-Maybin with Chris Board last offseason. Board got a two-year, $6.7 million deal from the New England Patriots in free agency, and now Reeves-Maybin will come back to replace him.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin coming back to the Lions to be a special teams leader

With Alex Anzalone and Malcolm Rodriguez holding down the starting spots at linebacker, Reeves-Maybin comes back to the Lions as an experienced depth option and a core special teamer.

Reeves-Maybin was a college teammate at Tennnessee of new Lions cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley. In an interesting anecdote, on the Dungeon of Doom podcast with MLive’s Kyle Meinke and Ben Raven last week, Moseley talked about that tie.

"There was a guy who used to be here (in Detroit), his name was Jalen-Reeves Maybin. I went to school with him (at Tennessee), and I know what type of player Reeves-Maybin is,” “I remember in one interview, Dan was like, ‘We have a bunch of guys like Jalen Reeves-Maybin.’ So I know what type of character guys (Campbell) wants, and what he likes to see, and I can see that through a reflection of him.That’s what really triggered me to make my decision (to sign) here.”"

The idea of Reeves-Maybin coming back to the Lions after the Texans cut him made some level of of sense. And it’s indeed happening.

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