The Detroit Lions had a slow start to free agency, choosing to release several players from the previous regime instead of adding many. The Lions’ most prominent addition has been tight end Josh Hill, formerly of the New Orleans Saints and a favorite of Detroit’s newest head coach, Dan Campbell.
But things started to heat up overnight as the team prepares for the official kickoff to free agency on Wednesday afternoon, the start of the new league year for the NFL. Early this morning, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported via an unnamed source that the Lions have agreed to a two-year deal with running back Jamaal Williams, formerly of the Green Bay Packers.
Originally a fourth-round selection out of BYU in 2017, Williams has been a rotational rusher for most of his career in Green Bay. During his four-year career with the Packers, the 25-year old has started in 20 games and rushed for a total of 1,985 yards and 10 touchdowns. Williams has also posted 122 receptions for 961 yards and eight more scores.
Last season, Williams rushed for 505 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. In Detroit, he’s expected to compete with Kerryon Johnson for playing time behind projected starter D’Andre Swift.
While that would be the lone free agency addition of the night, news broke about another trade finalizing between the Lions and the Los Angeles Rams. The two teams brokered a deal earlier this offseason that will officially send quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Rams later today in exchange for two future first-round draft selections, a third-rounder this year, and quarterback Jared Goff.
Now, the relationship between the Rams and new Lions’ general manager Brad Holmes, the former director of college scouting for Los Angeles, has fostered yet another trade. This time for a defensive anchor.
Again, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions are finalizing a trade with the Rams for defensive tackle Michael Brockers. The details surround the trade are currently unknown. But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Los Angeles attempted to get Brockers to adjust his current contract before attempting to move him.
The 30-year old Brockers was a first-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft out of LSU by the St. Louis Rams and has remained with the organization for his entire nine-year career. Last season, he recorded 51 total tackles, 10 quarterback hits, and 5.0 sacks as a 15-game starter for the Rams. If the trade goes through, Brockers should fill the void left by defensive tackle Danny Shelton, who was released by the Lions on Tuesday.