Detroit Lions add ex-New Orleans Saints LB Alex Anzalone on 1-year deal

Detroit Free Press

A week into the new league year, the Detroit Lions have finally found some help for their thin linebacking corps.

The Lions agreed to a free agent contract with linebacker Alex Anzalone on Wednesday. The one-year deal is worth up to $1.75 million, a league source said.

Anzalone, 26, played the past four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, where new Lions coach Dan Campbell was assistant head coach and new Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn coach defensive backs.

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He made nine starts last season after missing most of 2019 with a shoulder injury.

The Lions have overhauled their linebacking unit this offseason, letting Jarrad Davis and Reggie Ragland walk in free agency and releasing Christian Jones.

Anzalone should play a prominent role as an off-ball linebacker, alongside Jamie Collins. He made 41 tackles last season, and in 2018 — the only year he has played in all 16 games — had two sacks and three forced fumbles.

The Lions, who also re-signed linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin last week, still need help in their secondary, where they are looking for a slot cornerback and a safety to compete with Will Harris for the starting job.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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