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Lions’ free agents Travis Swanson, Paul Worrilow sign deals elsewhere

As the Detroit Lions look to bolster their roster ahead of the NFL Draft, that could mean having to part ways with some free agent players and going in a different direction.

The team recently saw a couple of their own unrestricted free agents agree to terms with other teams for 2018.

Center Travis Swanson will encounter a change of scenery as he will reportedly sign with the New York Jets. The former All-American out of Arkansas and third-round pick in 2014, has played in 56 career games with the Lions, including starting the previous 42 over the last three seasons.

Swanson struggled early on in the trenches for Detroit, which ultimately led to Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn using a draft pick on Michigan lineman Graham Glasgow in 2016. His play somewhat improved over the last two seasons, but he had each of those campaigns cut short due to head injuries. Per PFF, Swanson rated 32nd out of 36 qualified centers in the NFL last season.

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Detroit made it clear back in March that they would not bring back Swanson and (presumably) will plug in Glasgow to be the center moving forward. Ironically, the Lions also signed Wesley Johnson last week, who played in 41 games (24 starts) for the Jets over the last three seasons.

Linebacker Paul Worrilow inks a free agent deal with the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles after one season in Detroit. The Lions signed Worrilow to a one-year deal in March of 2017 to fill what was a big void in the linebacking corps. He spent his first four pro seasons (2013-16) with Atlanta, totaling 242 tackles and four sacks in 59 games.

Worrilow, however, saw his role diminished with the Falcons in 2016 after they drafted Deion Jones in the second round of the draft that year. He was reduced to a rotational linebacker and special teams performer, the latter of which could improve his chances of being a steady contributor for the Eagles.

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Linebacker has been a point of emphasis for the Lions so far in free agency, with the team switching to a 3-4 scheme on defense under new head coach Matt Patricia. They agreed to deals with free agents Devon KennardChristian Jones, and Jonathan Freeny so far this offseason, and also re-upped with Nick Bellore as well.

Written by Alex Muller

MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

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