Detroit Lions reportedly set to sign former USFL cornerback Tae Hayes

The Detroit Lions are reportedly set to sign free agent cornerback Tae Hayes, who played in the USFL during the 2022 season.
Jamie Squire/USFL/GettyImages

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press Friday afternoon, the Detroit Lions are set to sign free agent cornerbac Tae Hayes.

Hayes ended last season with the New England Patriots, literally playing in Week 17 and Week 18. He played five games for the Carolina Panthers prior to that, playing a total of 70 defensive snaps and 16 special teams between the two teams.

The Patriots re-signed Hayes in May, then waived him in June.

Hayes entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State in 2019. He has spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals and the Panthers (twice). He has played a total of 13 regular season games,

Hayes played for the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in that league's 2022 season, with 37 tackles and one interception for the league's inaugural season champions.

If you're interested in some Hayes' highlights, here are a couple (h/t to Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit for the finds).

Detroit Lions roster: Tae Hayes looks likely to be just a camp body

A corresponding move for the Lions to make room for Hayes is unknown right now, and until they make the signing official that won't be known. But cornerback Jarren Williams did suffer an injury and was carted off during Thursday's scrimmage-like practice, and he could be waived with an injury designation.

After a questionable hit that injured tight end Shane Zylstra on Monday, cornerback Khalil Dorsey also has to be on thin ice.

Hayes is small (5-foot-9), but can play outside or in the slot as the Lions add a bit more versatility to their secondary.

Ultimately, Hayes looks to just be a back end of the 90-man roster body to help the Lions navigate the rest of training camp and the three preseason games. But there's a non-zero chance he does well enough to stick around, even on the practice squad eventually.


4 free agents the Detroit Lions could still sign before the 2023 season starts. dark. Next. 4 free agents the Detroit Lions could still sign before the 2023 season starts