Detroit Lions offseason: Notable roster additions

Lions bring in more former Patriots; sign new offensive lineman

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles tries to pass while under pressure fromNew England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles tries to pass while under pressure fromNew England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins. (AP photo by Charles Krupa)

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions have been busy this offseason. They’ve let many players leave through free agency or in trades and added more former Patriots to take their place. Detroit has also signed a new offensive lineman and cornerback to replace Darius Slay.

Here’s the most notable additions the Lions have made so far.

LB Jamie Collins

The Lions are signing Collins from the New England Patriots. Collins has had an interesting career arc: he was drafted by the Patriots, then traded after four years to the Cleveland Browns, then eventually resigned by the Patriots. Expectations for Collins will be high: the deal he signed with the Lions is a big raise from what he was making with the Patriots. Collins can bring athleticism and playmaking ability that the Lions defense sorely needs, especially at linebacker. He had 7 sacks and 3 interceptions last year.

CB Desmond Trufant

Signing Trufant was the move that set the Darius Slay trade into motion. Trufant effectively replaces Slay and at a bit of a bargain. Trufant played in 9 games last season, intercepting a career-high 4 passes before suffering a season-ending injury. He’s played his entire career in Atlanta, who drafted him with a first-round pick in 2013.

OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Giving a 5-year, $50 million contract to Vaitai is one of the splash moves by Bob Quinn so far this offseason, mainly because Vaitai was not a regular starter with the Philadelphia Eagles. He did start a stretch of games for Philadelphia in 2017 when the Eagles won the Super Bowl, but besides that he’s been a backup. It looks like a lot of money, but details show the deal is like the contract now-former Lion Rick Wagner signed: front-loaded that gives the Lions the ability to bail if it doesn’t work out. Vaitai should start at tackle or guard.

DT Danny Shelton

Another former Patriot, Shelton will help fill the need at defensive line after the loss of Snacks Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson. Shelton was a first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2015 NFL Draft. Last year, Shelton had a career-high 61 tackles and 3 sacks for New England. The Lions are hoping Shelton can be a run stopper who can stay in on third down to give them some pass rush pressure.

QB Chase Daniel

Chase Daniel comes to the Lions after most recently playing for the Chicago Bears. A career backup, he beat the Lions in one of his few career starts back in 2018. Backup QB is a spot the Lions needed to address after losing Matthew Stafford last year and watching the offense struggle with Jeff Driskel and David Blough filling in.