Lions Rumors

Contract Details: Jordy, Glennon, Incognito

Let’s take a look at the most recent new contracts and restructures around the NFL:

New Contracts

  • Jordy Nelson, WR (Raiders): Two years, $14.2MM. $13MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of
  • Mike Glennon, QB (Cardinals): Two-year, $8MM deal contains void years in 2020 and 2021. $4MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Josh Weinfuss of
  • Spencer Long, C (Jets): Four years, $27.5MM. $6MM guaranteed (link via Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap).
  • Jaron Brown, WR (Seahawks): Two years, $5.5MM. $2.75MM guaranteed. $1.95MM signing bonus. $750K available annually via receptions, yards, and touchdowns incentives (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of
  • Christian Jones, LB (Lions): Two years, $6.35MM. $2.8MM guaranteed. $1.75MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Michael Rothstein of
  • Kyle Wilber, LB (Raiders): Two years, $2.75MM. $1.4MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of SiriusXM).
  • Billy Turner, OL (Broncos): One year, $2MM. $750K guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9News).


  • Richie Incognito, G (Bills): 2018 base salary reduced from $6.325MM to $3.65MM. Earned $1MM bonus. Bills created $1.675MM in cap space (Twitter link via Yates).
  • John Jerry, G (Giants): 2019 contract season eliminated. 2018 base salary reduced from $3.05MM to $1.075MM, $525K of which is guaranteed. $400K roster bonus added and paid on 3/21. Per-game roster bonuses increased from $250K to $500K (all Twitter links via Dan Duggan of Giants created $525K in cap space.

Lions Sign DT Sylvester Williams

Former Titans nose tackle Sylvester Williams is signing with the Lions on a one-year deal, reports Cameron Wolfe of (Twitter links). The Lions have since confirmed the signing via press release.

The Lions have been on the lookout for defensive tackles and in contact with some of the best interior linemen left, including Williams. He’ll take over for Haloti Ngata, who left in free agency to sign with the Eagles.

Williams started eleven games and made 15 total appearances for the Titans in 2017, his first campaign outside of Denver since the Broncos made him a first-round pick in 2014. Last season, Williams played on roughly a third of the Titans’ defensive snaps, good for third-most among the club’s defensive linemen. Pro Football Focus gave him high marks against the run and some not-so-great marks for his work on passing downs.

The Lions were said to have agreed to a deal with fellow defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois on Wednesday, but there’s now conflicting word on that front. The addition of Williams may or may not have an impact on Jean-Francois’ potential deal with Detroit.

Before signing with the Lions, Williams took a visit with the Redskins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions To Sign Ricky Jean-Francois?

2:30pm: It’s not a done deal yet, according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News (on Twitter).

12:50pm: The Lions have agreed to sign defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, according to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Ian Rapoport of first reported that the two sides were working on a deal. 

Jean-Francois comes to Detroit after spending last season with the Packers and Patriots. The 2009 seventh-round pick was cut twice by Green Bay and even dropped from the roster once by the Pats, but he was re-signed by New England and stayed with the team through their trip to the Super Bowl. All in all, he had 12 tackles in 12 games between the two clubs.

In a statement released by his agency earlier this month, RJ-F indicated that he hopes to continue playing for a few more years.

I plan on continuing to play at the highest level,” the 31-year-old (32 in November) said. “Hopefully I made a strong case for myself this past season. I did absolutely everything I could to help the Patriots during my short time there, and I learned that playbook immediately. It takes a special type of player and discipline to do that so quickly. My priority right now is to find a stable home where I can step in and make a similar impact for a few more seasons before I ride off into the sunset.”

The Lions likely aren’t done adding to the interior defensive line. They have plans to meet with Johnathan Hankins and Alan Branch and former Titans defensive tackle Sylvester Williams is also on their radar.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Searching For Defensive Tackles

The Lions are scouring the defensive tackle market. They’re expected to bring in free agents Johnathan Hankins and Alan Branch for visits and former Titans defensive tackle Sylvester Williams is also on their radar, Field Yates of tweets. Meanwhile, they’re working on a deal with former Pats defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). 

The Lions project to start A’Shawn Robinson and Akeem Spence on the interior defensive line, but they’re a little thin in support. Last year’s sixth-round pick Jeremiah Ledbetter and former UDFA Toby Johnson are the only other DTs on the roster as of this writing. It’s possible that the Lions will look to sign two or more of the aforementioned quartet of free agent defensive tackles to pad out the depth chart.

Given GM Bob Quinn‘s ties to the Patriots, Jean-Francois would be a logical signing for Detroit. Hankins, meanwhile, might be the most intriguing talent of the bunch given his success in the Giants’ 4-3 scheme from 2013-2016. Last year, he also performed well in the Colts’ 3-4 defense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Sign TE Luke Willson

The Lions are signing former Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal worth $2.5MM with some upside potential in his deal. Willson will receive $1.5MM guaranteed, tweets Adam Caplan of SiriusXM.

Willson also visited the Panthers and Jaguars before agreeing to sign with Detroit. It’s not clear if he had viable offers from Carolina or Jacksonville, but in any case, the Lions will probably give him a better chance to showcase his talents. With the Panthers, Willson would have been playing behind Greg Olsen. And it’s possible that the Jaguars would have passed on Niles Paul had they signed Willson, but he probably still would have been playing alongside Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

The Lions had a clear need for a tight end after cutting Eric Ebron and watching Darren Fells sign with the Browns. The Lions missed out on Trey Burtonbut they have added a promising (and cheaper) option in Willson..

Willson failed to top 200 yards receiving in either of the past two seasons, but he graded out as the league’s No. 26 run-blocking tight end among 69 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

The Lions’ tight end depth chart is comprised of Willson, Michael RobertsHakeem Valles, and Brandon Barnes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Host TE Levine Toilolo

The Lions met with free agent tight end Levine Toilolo on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).

Detroit released starting tight end Eric Ebron last week, and also witnessed top reserve Darren Fells ink a new deal with the Browns. At present, the Lions’ starting end is projected as 2017 rookie Michael Roberts, but the club is fully expected to sign a veteran tight end, per Rapoport. Thus far, Detroit has met with Luke Willson, Ed Dickson, Brent Celek, and Logan Paulsen, and all but Dickson remain on the open market.

Toilolo, who was recently released by the Falcons, has never been much of an offensive force, as he’s failed to top even 300 yards receiving in any of his five NFL campaigns. The 26-year-old was famously deployed as a tackle when Atlanta ran out of offensive linemen in a 2014 contest, but Toilolo didn’t grade well as a blocker in 2017, at least according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked Toilolo 23rd and 29th among tight ends in run-blocking and pass-blocking, respectively.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Host TE Logan Paulsen

The Lions are seeking veteran options at tight end. ESPN’s Field Yates reports that Detroit hosted free agent Logan Paulsen today (via’s Charean Williams).

Paulsen, 31, has bounced around the league since leaving the Redskins following the 2015 campaign. Last season, the tight end appeared in 14 games (one start) for the 49ers without collecting a single catch. Paulsen didn’t earn enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ rankings, but the veteran was rated higher as a blocking tight end.

With Eric Ebron and Darren Fells out of the picture, the Lions are in the hunt for a new tight end. The organization is currently rostering a trio of inexperienced tight ends, including Michael RobertsHakeem Valles, and Brandon Barnes. The team previously met with tight ends Brent Celek and Luke Willson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

ESPN On Lions' RBs, Ansah, Ebron

  • The Lions recently retained Zach Zenner on a one-year deal and signed LeGarrette Blount to a one-year pact, which leads Michael Rothstein of to believe that the club will target an RB early in the draft.
  • In the same piece, Rothstein says he believes Ziggy Ansah will play out the 2018 season on the franchise tender and that he and Lions are not likely to reach a long-term agreement before the July deadline. Rothstein also said the team cut Eric Ebron and saved his significant salary cap charge for a reason, though it’s not clear what that is just yet. Rothstein says Ebron would not have been cut unless the team knew it had a better option coming in (although the Lions could have simply felt that Ebron’s role as a potential mismatch receiving tight end might not be as important to the offense in 2018).

Lions Host DT Shamar Stephen

The Lions are looking at a defensive rival’s castoff for defensive help, as the club has met with former Vikings defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, tweets veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer.

While Detroit has been active in revamping its defense through free agency, it’s mostly focused on linebackers and defensive backs. The Lions have signed veterans such as Devon Kennard, Christian Jones, and DeShawn Shead over the past week, but they’ve yet to address their front four even after losing defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Eagles.

Stephen, 27, started all 16 games for the Vikings as recently as 2016, but his snap percentage drop by 15% in 2017. In 15 appearances, Stephen posted nine tackles and one sack, also saw action on roughly a third of Minnesota’s special teams snaps. Unlikely to return to the Vikings given that they’ve signed Sheldon Richardson, Stephen would join A’Shawn Robinson and Akeem Spence on Detroit’s defensive line.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.