Detroit Lions re-signing Zonovan Knight, reportedly will not tender Chase Lucas

The Detroit Lions continue to churn the back end of the roster heading into free agency, re-signing Zonovan Knight and electing not to tender a contract to Chase Lucas on Thursday.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ahead of free agency, the Detroit Lions continue to make restricted free agent moves. A restricted free agent tender has been given to tight end Brock Wright, but a tender was not given to cornerback Jerry Jacobs. Tight end Shane Zylstra has been re-signed, seemingly foregoing an ERFA (exclusive rights free agent) tender. Cornerback Khalil Dorsey was also not tendered a contract offer as a restricted free agent.

On Thursday, Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report reported the Lions have re-signed running back Zonovan Knight. The team has confirmed the move. Knight was slated to be an exclusive rights free agent, but it was announced by the team as a re-signing in the same way as Zylstra.

Later on Thursday, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported the Lions will not be tendering a contract to cornerback Chase Lucas. Lucas was also slated to be an ERFA, and he will now be an unrestricted free agent.

Detroit Lions making more moves to tweak back end of the roster

The Lions signed Knight to their practice squad after roster cutdowns heading into last season. He was elevated to the active roster in Week 3, due to David Montgomery being injured, and he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5. The move to re-sign him confirms he's healthy.

Knight had a promising run for the New York Jets as a rookie in 2022, with 230 rushing yards over his first three starts. He should compete to be the No. 3 running back for the Lions, and he'll possibly be in the mix to return kickoffs.

Lucas was the last pick of Brad Holmes' second draft as Lions' general manager in 2022. He played in six games as a rookie. After opting to return on the practice squad last year he saw action in 12 games, strictly on special teams. That he was apparently not even thought of to play cornerback when the Lions needed help there was a foreshadow of the move to non-tender him.

Knight is a promising young running back, who may have a good chance to unseat Craig Reynolds (who's an ERFA himself) in camp. Lucas spurned interest from other teams to come back to the Lions after being cut last year, so he shouldn't have much trouble finding a new team.

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