The Detroit Lions added some needed depth at safety on Wednesday, reaching an agreement on a one-year deal with former Baltimore Raven DeShon Elliott, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
A former All-American at Texas, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Elliott was a sixth-round draft in 2018. Injuries have been a significant issue during his four-year career, costing him most or all of three seasons, including the 2021 campaign, when he landed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.
Elliott avoided the injury bug in 2020, starting all 16 games for the Ravens. During that year he racked up 80 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four pass defenses. In Detroit, he should have an opportunity to compete for a starting job opposite Tracy Walker, who re-signed with the team this offseason.
Prior to another potential addition via draft, Elliott’s primary competition for playing time figures to be Will Harris, who served as a starter to open last season.
Harris shifted to cornerback late in the year when the Lions’ depth chart was depleted by injuries and COVID. In a recent media session, coach Dan Campbell praised Harris’ versatility, calling him a “cafety,” a combination of cornerback and safety, while noting the staff wasn’t sure where they’d look to utilize the fourth-year defensive back next season.
“I think Will, part of his strength is his versatility. That’s one of his greatest attributes, which we came to find out last year,” Campbell said.
“I think he’s a jack of all trades. We’re still talking right now, you just go out day one, do you put him at corner or do you put him at safety? I’ll be honest, we haven’t just locked that down right now. We’re still kinda talking about it. That’s not a bad thing.”
Harris played a team-high 1,012 defensive snaps last season.