Lions Expected To Sign James Ihedigbo

12:02pm: Ihedigbo left his visit with the Lions today without officially signing anything, but says it’s very possible he’ll sign soon, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Birkett adds that the free agent safety needs to get his agent situation “squared away” and is heading home to visit his pregnant wife (Twitter links).

8:49am: The Lions and safety James Ihedigbo are expected to reach a contract agreement soon, according to Pro Football Talk (via Twitter). Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press had reported earlier today that Ihedigbo was headed to Detroit for a visit.

Ihedigbo, 30, started all 16 games last season for the Ravens after recording just 15 starts in the first five years of his career. With the added playing time, Ihedigbo delivered, ranking 16th among 86 qualified safeties, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), and playing more defensive snaps (1,098) than all but seven of those safeties. As the team’s full-time strong safety, Ihedigbo racked up 100 tackles, grabbed three interceptions, and recovered a pair of fumbles.

Assuming Ihedigbo finalizes a deal with Detroit, he’ll be joining a secondary that lost Louis Delmas but still features Glover Quin. Like Ihedigbo, Quin had a very good season as a strong safety in 2013, so it’ll be interesting to see which player the team plans to move over to free safety. Ihedigbo would also be rejoining Teryl Austin, who served as the Ravens’ secondary coach for the last several seasons. Austin was hired as the Lions’ defensive coordinator earlier this offseason.

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