The Lions have agreed to re-sign cornerback Nevin Lawson, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Lawson will receive a two-year, $9.2MM deal that can max out at $10MM, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, while the pact contains $4.55MM in guarantees, per Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link).
Lawson, 27 in April, has been a starter for the last two years and change in Detroit. Last year, he started in all 15 of his games and totaled 43 tackles with four passes defensed. The Lions like what he brings to the table, but the advanced metrics have never held him in high regard (he was one of the ten worst qualified corners last year, per Pro Football Focus) and he is still in search of his first career interception.
It’s unclear if re-signing Lawson will take the Lions out of the cornerback market, but one cornerback who would have made sense for the Lions — former Patriot Malcolm Butler — is now off the table after inking a hefty deal with the Titans. D.J. Hayden, who appeared in all 16 games for Detroit last season, is in talks with the Jaguars, so the Lions may need to replace their slot corner. DeShawn Shead, for one, is scheduled to meet with Detroit today.
If nothing else, Lawson will give the Lions a cheap depth option. Even if Detroit doesn’t plan to deploy him as a starter again in 2018, a $5MM annual value isn’t a bad price for a third cornerback.
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