Lions Re-Sign CB Kindle Vildor

Kindle Vildor spent 2023 with four teams. The last of those will see if he can maintain a role. The Lions re-signed the veteran cornerback on Wednesday, per’s Adam Schefter.

Adding Vildor on a practice squad agreement late last season, the Lions will now reunite him with one of his former position coaches. It is a one-year deal. The team hired Deshea Townsend as DBs coach this offseason; the former NFL corner coached Vildor in Chicago.

The Lions are likely still looking for more help at corner, following the release of Cameron Sutton. The former $11MM-per-year defender turned himself in on a domestic battery charge Sunday night. Detroit acquired Carlton Davis from Tampa Bay and re-signed Emmanuel Moseley, but the Sutton development leaves the defending NFC North champions — who already experienced issues at corner last year — vulnerable at the position.

These issues led to the Lions turning to Vildor as a starter opposite Sutton during last season’s final five games. Despite three teams — the Bears, Eagles and Titans — cutting Vildor earlier in 2023, the former fifth-round pick found himself starting and staying on the field for nearly every Lions defensive snap during their most successful playoff run since the 1950s. This did include a memorable play in which a Brock Purdy pass ricocheted off Vildor’s hands and into Brandon Aiyuk‘s arms, setting up a second-half 49ers touchdown during the hosts’ comeback win in the NFC championship game. But the Lions will give the fifth-year vet another opportunity.

Vildor, 26, played under Townsend from 2020-21 with the Bears. The latter year featured a promotion into Chicago’s starting lineup. The Georgia Southern alum was unable to stick as a starter throughout that season, and the Bears’ Ryan Poles-led regime added second-round cornerbacks (Kyler Gordon, Tyrique Stevenson) in each of the previous two offseasons. This led to the Bears waiving Vildor on roster-cutdown day last year. Townsend was no longer with Chicago at that point; he spent the past two years in Jacksonville.

The Lions did not tender Jerry Jacobs, whom Vildor ended up replacing as a boundary starter, as an RFA. but they did add ex-Raider Amik Robertson last month. Robertson offers a background as a slot defender and outside corner, giving a Lions team that also lost safety/slot cog C.J. Gardner-Johnson in free agency. Another move is likely coming, but Vildor will have a chance to compete for a Detroit depth role soon.

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