Detroit Lions to agree to deals with 2 linebackers; other free agency updates

Seahawks CB DeShawn Shead visiting today

The Lions needed linebackers and it appears they will officially sign free agents Christian Jones and Devon Kennard when NFL free agency opens at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Peter Schrager of FOX Sports reports the Lions have agreed to a three-year deal worth $18.75 millions with Kennard who was a fifth-round pick of the Giants in 2014. He started 11 games for the Giants in 2017 when he had 41 tackles, four sacks and two pass defenses. Kennard played in 52 games in the past four seasons.

Jones, who can play inside or outside, will sign a two-year deal with Detroit, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jones missed just one game since 2014 when he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bears. He started 11 games in 2017 and played special teams. He finished 2017 with 90 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

Linebacker was a huge position of need with three Lions linebackers set for free agency — Tahir Whitehead, Paul Worrilow and Nick Bellore.

Also:

— Cornerback DeShawn Shead is visiting the Lions today (Tuesday) according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. He will visit the 49ers on Wednesday. He has spent the last six seasons with the Seahawks. After playing in 47 games in three seasons (2014-16) he played in just two in 2017 after a long recovery from ACL surgery.

— Haloti Ngata appears headed to the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, according to Schefter. Ngata, 34, spent the last three seasons in Detroit. He played in just five games in 2017 due to injury.

— Veteran running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeMarco Murray visited the Lions this week according to multiple reports. Neither one would likely be the savior of the Lions running game which was the worst in the NFL in 2017 with an average of 76.3 yards per game. However, they could provide help. Expect the Lions to draft a running back in the early rounds. They are not going anywhere in 2018 without a vastly improved running game.

— The Lions announced on Tuesday morning that they re-signed safety Tavon Wilson. Rapoport reported it’s two years for $7 million. He had nine starts in 2017. With the new regime the former Patriot obviously figures into the plan.

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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