Player News - Lions

Date: Team: Pos:

Lions signed franchise player DE Ezekiel Ansah to a one-year, $17.143 million contract.

He signed his franchise tender just in time for the start of offseason workouts. Ansah is back as Detroit's top pass-rusher after leading the team with 12 sacks last season. The Lions have until July 16 to reach a long-term deal with Ansah, who turns 29 next month.
Apr 17 - 3:37 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Ezekiel Ansah is expected to sign his franchise tender and report for offseason work on Tuesday.

Ansah is returning from Ghana on Monday and will report for work on Tuesday. When he signs his tender, he will be owed $17.143 million for the 2018 season. He and the Lions have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal.
Apr 16 - 10:16 AM

ESPN's Michael Rothstein said it would not be a "surprise" if the Lions shopped Ameer Abdullah.

Of Detroit's current running backs, Rothstein believes only LeGarrette Blount's roster spot is safe. Abdullah opened last season as the Lions' lead back but saw his role diminish as the year went on. With the Lions expected to pursue a running back early in next week's draft, Abdullah's days in Detroit could be numbered. The former second-round pick will earn $876,745 in the final year of his rookie contract.
Apr 15 - 10:10 AM

Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett reports general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia remain steadfast on LB Jarrad Davis as the Lions' starting middle linebacker.

"I think in Matt’s scheme — Jarrad can play in any scheme, but I think it’s going to be really, his skill set is going to be exemplified in what we’re doing now," Quinn said. Davis was Detroit's No. 21 overall pick last season. He started 14 games for the Lions and finished with PFF's ninth-overall run-stopping grade among inside linebackers in his rookie year. His role was only in question since the Lions signed four linebackers, including ILB Christian Jones, and hosted Boise State's Leighton Vander Esch this offseason. Despite struggling in coverage, it's clear the staff still rightfully view Davis as an every-down player moving forward.
Apr 12 - 5:20 PM

The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett expects the Lions to again use a running back by committee approach this season.

As they have been for the past couple years, and that doesn't look like it's going to change under new coach Matt Patricia, who retained OC Jim Bob Cooter. The Lions have added LeGarrette Blount to the stable, which also included pass-down back Theo Riddick, all-around-does-nothing-great Ameer Abdullah, and depth guys Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington. The Lions are also expected to add a back in the draft. Blount is the best bet for touchdowns as it stands here on April 11, while Riddick is the clear favorite for catches. This backfield should again be a weekly mess that will be wholly unpredictable from a fantasy standpoint.
Apr 11 - 1:19 PM

Lions re-signed WR T.J. Jones to a one-year, $1.9 million contract.

Jones was a restricted free agent tendered at the original-round level. The Lions tendered Jones after initial reports suggested he would be allowed to walk. A 2014 sixth-rounder, 25-year-old Jones caught a career-high 30 passes last season, doubling his previous career total. Ideally he will slot in as the Lions' No. 4 receiver for 2018.
Apr 9 - 3:27 PM

The Detroit News' Justin Rogers reports DE Ziggy Ansah won't be with the Lions due to family obligations when the team reports for workouts Monday.

Ansah is still in Ghana but has kept the front office, including head coach Matt Patricia, in the loop. Expectation is that Ansah joins the team shortly. He still may decide to skip part of the offseason program when he returns due to contract talks, but he is not expected to hold out into training camp. Ansah will make $17.143 million in 2018 if he plays under the tag.
Apr 8 - 2:42 PM

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports the Lions appear to be planning to move Graham Glasgow to center full-time this fall.

Glasgow performed admirably, albeit a small sample, in the 315 snaps he played at center last season. Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins should compete for the left guard spot assuming Glasgow starts over C Wesley Johnson, who signed a one-year, $880,000 deal with the Lions this offseason. Detroit is hoping their interior unit is improved as their running backs averaged just 0.96 yards before contact in 2017, the second-lowest average in the league.
Apr 8 - 2:32 PM

The Lions plan to give TE Michael Roberts an expanded role this season.

Roberts was limited to 220 snaps as a rookie. With only Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo added this offseason, he’s a potential in-house replacement for Eric Ebron. Roberts was a touchdown machine his senior year at Toledo and has a chance to pick up Ebron’s targets if he puts together a strong offseason. Lions GM Bob Quinn thinks Roberts can make a second-year leap.
Apr 7 - 7:04 PM

Lions signed QB Matt Cassel.

Cassel has ties with Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn from his Patriots days. He gives Detroit a veteran behind Matt Stafford but isn't a lock to open the season in a backup role. 35-year-old Cassel will compete with Jake Rudock in training camp.
Apr 4 - 4:20 PM

The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett reports the Lions and franchise-tagged DE Ezekiel Ansah "remain far apart" in contract talks.

The two sides are far enough apart "people close to Ansah remain convinced he'll play this fall on the one-year tag," Birkett added. The pass rusher has yet to sign his franchise tender and may decide to skip part of the offseason program, but he is not expected to hold out into training camp. Ansah will make $17.143 million in 2018 if he plays under the tag.
Mar 29 - 11:44 AM

The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett thinks the Lions could look to extend contract-year WR Golden Tate this summer.

Lions GM Bob Quinn said he has not opened contract talks with Tate "as of yet," but Birkett reports he left open the possibility of a new deal. "I think all those things in my time here have happened in the summer," Quinn said. "I think our concentration and our focus right now is on the draft. Things that come down the road after that, they’ll come and go and we’ll talk through it." Tate has caught 372 passes for 4,224 yards and 19 scores in four seasons with the Lions.
Mar 29 - 11:17 AM

Lions signed C Wesley Johnson, formerly of the Jets.

Johnson struggled mightily for the Jets last season, so the Lions hopefully do not envision him as the answer at center. While the line has gotten a lot better, center or left guard, depending on where Graham Glasgow ends up, remains a concern.
Mar 29 - 9:59 AM

Free agent Wesley Johnson is visiting the Lions.

Johnson was the Jets' replacement for Nick Mangold last year. He started 15 games but struggled with penalties and graded as one of the worst centers in the league. In Detroit, Johnson would add insurance if Travis Swanson doesn't re-sign.
Mar 28 - 4:15 PM

Lions signed TE Levine Toilolo, formerly of the Falcons, to a one-year contract.

Toilolo is a blocking tight end only and will handle the old role of Darren Fells from last season. Fells left Detroit for a three-year deal with the Browns.
Mar 28 - 2:08 PM

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