Detroit Lions Rumors & News

Lions Sign DE George Johnson

The Lions have signed defensive end George Johnson. To make room, Detroit has waived fellow defensive lineman Alex BarrettGeorge Johnson (vertical)

Johnson spent the 2014 season with the Lions, a campaign sandwiched by his two stints with the Buccaneers. He was quietly effective in that season, appearing in all 16 games and earning a positive grade from Pro Football Focus. The Lions are hoping that he can still be an effective pass rusher in 2017.

Johnson’s second stint with the Bucs came to an end earlier this month when he missed the 53-man cutdown. Tampa Bay saved $2.25MM by terminating his deal in advance of Week 1.

In the process, the Bucs get themselves off the hook for his $2.25MM salary, which would have become guaranteed if he was on the roster for Week 1.

Unfortunately, Johnson hasn’t seen the field since the 2015 season. Last August, an ACL tear shut him down for the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/17

Today’s workout update notes:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Patriots, Lions Worked Out DL Datone Jones

The Patriots auditioned free agent defensive lineman Datone Jones today, while the Lions did the same on Saturday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).Datone Jones (vertical)

If signed by New England, Jones would likely play a role similar to that of incumbent options Deatrich Wise or Adam Butler, tweets Doug Kyed of NESN — that is, an edge player who can slide inside on passing downs. A former first-round pick, Jones is capable of playing either in a 3-4 or 4-3 front, and his scheme versatility could prove valuable for a Patriots club that prides itself on flexibility.

While the Patriots are short on edge defenders, the Lions are arguably even less equipped along the front seven. Kerry Hyder, last season’s breakout contributor, is done for the season with a torn Achilles, while Khyri Thornton and Armonty Bryant won’t return from suspension until midseason. Detroit should have a well-formulated view of Jones after facing him as a member of the division rival Packers in each of the past four years.

Now entering his age-27 campaign, Jones has never quite lived up to his draft status, and surprisingly couldn’t make the squad in Minnesota even after inking a one-year, $3.75MM pact that included $1.6MM in guarantees. Jones logged a career-high four starts and amassed 548 snaps across 15 games last season, when he added 22 tackles, a sack and ranked 70th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 110 qualified edge defenders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Pleased With Teez Tabor's Progress, Despite Inactive Status

  • Lions second-round pick Teez Tabor was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and, given the team’s depth at cornerback, probably won’t be a factor for a while, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes. But head coach Jim Caldwell still thinks the ex-Florida Gator could pay short-term dividends. “That probably would not be an accurate statement in terms of a ‘long-term project,'” Caldwell said. “I’m not certain what that denotes, but that probably wouldn’t be how we would assess it.” Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is pleased with the progress Tabor has made in recent months. “He’s doing everything right and we’ll see him at some point,” Austin declared. “(He’s) much different than when he first got in here. I think he’s a really super smart player. Gets it, can get around the ball, again, just growing him right now.” Once considered a good bet to go in the first round this year, Tabor fell to the Lions at No. 53 after posting slow times in the 40-yard yard dash in the offseason.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/14/17

The latest workout updates from across the NFL, courtesy of Howard Balzer (Twitter links here):

Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

New York Jets

Practice Squad Updates: 9/14/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: K Harrison Butker
  • Cut: DT Eric Crume

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: CB Greg Mabin

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: WR Brian Brown
  • Released: S Jameill Showers

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: OT Storm Norton
  • Cut: DE Pat O’Connor

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: G Darrell Greene

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: CB Ryan Lewis

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Lions Audition Jaye Howard, Garrett Grayson

The Lions have hosted workouts for defensive lineman Jaye Howard and quarterback Garrett Grayson, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (all Twitter links).Jaye Howard (vertical)

Howard, 28, was released by the Bears during final cutdowns after having a signed a one-year pact in May. A longtime Chief, Howard only suited up eight times and made five starts last year, as a hip injury ended his season in November. During his limited action in 2016, Howard added 23 tackles and a sack, and ranked 55th in performance among Pro Football Focus‘ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

Detroit needs all the help it can get in the front seven, as the club’s defensive line has been decimated by injuries and suspensions. Kerry Hyder and Jordan Hill have both been placed on injured reserve, while Armonty Bryant and Khyri Thornton won’t return until Weeks 4 and 6, respectively, after being hit with league-imposed bans.

Quarterback is a less-pressing need for the Lions, as Matthew Stafford and Jake Rudock comprise the team’s top two options under center. Seventh-round pick Brad Kaaya was lost via waivers earlier this month, and Detroit doesn’t currently have a signal-caller on its practice squad. Grayson, a former third-round selection of the Saints, has never attempted an NFL pass.

Howard and Grayson weren’t the only free agents on display in the Motor City. Per Balzer, the Lions also took a look at quarterback Mitch Leidner; wide receivers C.J. Board, Montay Crockett, Anthony Dable, Cyril Grayson, Bug Howard, and Jordan Payton; defensive tackles Jeremy Faulk, Marcus Hardison, and Louis Trinca-Pasat; defensive end Patrick Gamble; LB Nicholas Grigsby; and S Jack Tocho.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions To Sign P Jeff Locke

The Lions’ third punting solution will be Jeff Locke, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets. A new punter became necessary after Kasey Redfern tore his ACL and MCL during a botched punt-turned-scramble on Sunday.

Noting Locke’s ability to handle kickoff duties played a key role in this decision, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported Monday night (via Twitter) the Lions were expected to sign Locke. The Lions worked out Locke on Monday. Locke will venture from one NFC North franchise, the Vikings, to another. The fifth-year punter played four seasons with the Vikings before signing with the Colts in March.

However, the Colts ended up cutting Locke in August. The Lions deployed Redfern only because usual punter Sam Martin suffered an injury over the summer that led to the Lions placing him on their NFI list. Martin is out until at least Week 6 as a result.

The Lions also placed tackle Corey Robinson on IR and signed tackle Emmett Cleary, per Rogers. The Cowboys cut Cleary just before the regular season. The ex-UDFA played in 13 games for Dallas last season and started one.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/11/17

Monday’s practice squad moves…

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: DT Daniel Ross

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins