Detroit Lions lock up another restricted free agent, re-sign LB Josh Woods

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions kept another restricted free agent from hitting the market Tuesday, signing special teams ace Josh Woods to a one-year contract extension.

Woods made 28 tackles in 12 games with the Lions last season and was one of the team’s most productive special teams players after signing with the Lions off the Chicago Bears practice squad.

He made a career-high 13 tackles in a December loss to the Denver Broncos, but finished the season on injured reserve with a neck injury.

Woods said during the season he was excited to finally get defensive snaps after being pigeon-holed as a special teams player early in his career.

“Guys kind of get into that box (of being seen as special teams-only players),” Woods said. “It’s a blessing when you are able to kind of break out of that box, but I won’t go ahead and get ahead of myself and act like I’m out of it. I still have so much to prove at linebacker to myself and there’s a lot of things I want to do on special teams still. The bar is just getting reset every day higher and higher just trying to get better.”

More: Lions see ‘vast room for improvement’ for Tracy Walker; franchise tag unlikely

Woods could compete for time on defense next season as the Lions are in transition at inside linebacker.

Starters Alex Anzalone and Jalen Reeves-Maybin will be unrestricted free agents in March, though the Lions hope to re-sign Anzalone.

Derrick Barnes also will be in the mix for a starting job after a productive but inconsistent rookie season; he had 67 tackles and two sacks.

The Lions signed restricted free agent fullback Jason Cabinda to a two-year deal that could be worth as much as $2.4 million last week.

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

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