John Cominsky, one of the best waiver claims in Detroit Lions history, gets 2-year deal

Detroit Free Press

Ten months after he was placed on waivers and facing an uncertain NFL future, John Cominsky has landed a life-changing deal.

Cominsky and the Detroit Lions agreed on a new two-year contract Tuesday. NFL Network reported the deal was worth $8.5 million, with another $1 million in incentives.

A waiver claim from the Atlanta Falcons last May, Cominsky was one of the Lions’ most pleasant surprises in 2022. He started eight games, set career highs in sacks (four), tackles (30) and quarterback hits (12) and was a key part of the Lions defensive line.

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The Lions went 9-3 with Cominsky in the lineup, and were 0-5 when he was out with a broken hand.

“He’s got a rare ability,” former Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash said in January. “The thing about Commish, Commish really makes that third-down group go. He’s our quarterback. We call him our quarterback. He sets the rush plan, he sets the games. If there’s blitzes and somebody’s confused, he knows what everybody does. Hell, he could coach the room, I think. But what he does is, he studies, he plays his tail off and he’s getting opportunities.”

Cominsky, who had 1½ sacks in his first three years with the Falcons, said late in the season he hoped to return to Detroit, and Lions general manager Brad Holmes called Cominsky a player who “fits for our culture and what we’re trying to build and where we’re going,” and said re-signing him was a priority.

With Cominsky in the fold, the Lions will return every key member of their front seven from a defense that ranked last in the NFL in total defense last season but played its best football in the second half of the year.

Defensive linemen Aidan Hutchinson, Alim McNeill and Josh Paschal and linebackers Malcolm Rodriguez, Derrick Barnes and James Houston are under contract for 2023 on rookie deals, and the Lions re-signed nose tackle Isaiah Buggs to a two-year deal, tendered a contract to exclusive rights free agent Benito Jones and agreed to a new three-year contract with linebacker Alex Anzalone on Monday.

Although their front seven returns intact, the Lions have overhauled their secondary this offseason, agreeing to free agent contracts with cornerbacks Cam Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley.

Free agents can begin signing with new teams at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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