DeAndre Levy and the Detroit Lions have agreed on a new, multi-year deal today. Levy started 13 games for the Lions last year and is expecting the full-time starting position at outside linebacker next year.
Lions drafted Levy in 2009 out of Wisconsin with the 76th overall pick in the 3rd round. Last year, he played in 14 games recording 82 tackles, 3 pass deflections and 1 interception. In four seasons with Detroit, Levy has remained fairly healthy, starting and playing a majority of the games while recording 348 tackles, 1 sack, 13 deflections, 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 defensive TD in his career. It was important for Lions to hold on to Levy for the future due to his on field success and stable health. With Levy and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch locked up for the future, the other 2012 starting linebacker, Justin Durant is the last starter that the Lions still need to figure out. Durant is scheduled to become a free agent this season, but the Lions still have time to close a deal with Durant. However, with the Lions signing Levy, Detroit may decide to pursue a different option in free-agency or the 2013 draft.
Punter Blake Clingan has signed with the Lions for a 3 year deal after forking over $500 out of his own pocket to fly to Detroit and pay for his own try-out. The money was well spent after a successful workout, all while hitting the roof of the practice facility multiple times. Clingan was 2 years removed out of Central Florida and had worked in the medical real estate industry while staying in football shape and practicing his punting. The Lions designated punter for the 2012 season was Nick Harris, who is expected to become an unrestricted free agent and not welcome back for this next year. The Lions have been one of the worst punting teams the last couple of years, last year tied at 30th in net punting average in the NFL.
Last Friday, the Detroit Lions signed tackle Corey Hilliard to a 2-year deal. Hilliard, who was to become a free agent, is expected to battle for the right-tackle position, even though, he played in zero games last season with the Lions. At age 27, Hilliard has been in the league for 6 years, but has only started 5 career games.