The Lions didn’t do much to address their secondary this offseason, but with the preseason about to get underway, the team has added a veteran cornerback to the mix. According to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Lions announced today that they’ve signed Drayton Florence.
Florence, a second-round pick back in 2003, had a previous stint in Detroit in 2012, and has also played for the Chargers, Jaguars, Bills, and – most recently – the Panthers. In Carolina last season, the 33-year-old made 26 tackles, defended nine passes, and grabbed a pair of interceptions, ranking an impressive 19th among 110 qualified cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). Rothstein had pointed to Florence, who visited the Titans and Ravens this offseason, as a possibility for the Lions two months ago.
Although he has 104 career starts, Florence seems more likely to assume a role as the third or fourth cornerback for the Lions, assuming he earns a spot on the club. Corner currently looks like one of the thinnest positions on the roster, with Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay projected to start for the team. The Lions parted ways with Chris Houston in June due to health concerns.
After waiving Jonathan Baldwin yesterday, Detroit had an open spot on the 90-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary to make room for Florence.