Allen Park — On Friday, the Detroit Lions lost one of their top special teams contributors, linebacker Chris Board, to New England. A day later, they made sure it wouldn’t be two departures, reaching a two-year agreement to bring back safety C.J. Moore, the NFL Network reported.
Moore has spent most of his professional career with the Lions after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019, only briefly leaving to join the Houston Texans practice squad after the Lions released him, with an injury settlement, when he suffered an Achilles strain last offseason.
Detroit was eventually able to restore Moore to the roster and he appeared in 11 games in 2022. In four years, no Lions player has logged more special teams snaps than Moore’s 1,078. He’s also seen defensive action each of the past four seasons, including 104 snaps last year.
“That was hard for us at the end of camp to do what we felt like we had to do just for the roster,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said about cutting Moore. “We didn’t want to lose him, but we felt like we had to do it at that moment. And so, we — (general manager) Brad (Holmes) and I — had our eye on C.J. the whole time. We knew we had to get through the injury-settlement period, and then when we had the chance to get him back, (we did).
“He’s a pivotal piece to our special teams, first off,” Campbell said. “But he also understands the defense; he’s been a part of it. He’s a guy that it means a lot to him, he cares, he’s a professional and guys love him, man. He’s an energy guy.”
Moore had visited with the Patriots in recent days before agreeing with the Lions. According to the NFL Network, the two-year deal is worth up to $4.5 million with $3 million fully guaranteed.