It’s probably safe to assume that the Lions front office has identified the linebacker position as a big weakness that can be fixed through free agency.
The team has agreed to sign another linebacker to their roster, this time choosing to bring in Christian Jones.
Former Bears’ LB Christian Jones plans to sign a two-year deal with the Lions, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
Jones is the second linebacker that the Lions have agreed to sign today, as Devon Kennard has also reportedly chosen to sign with the Lions.
Jones was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Chicago Bears following the 2014 draft. Since then, has played in 63 games (all with Chicago, 31 starts). For his career, Jones has amassed 241 tackles, four sacks, and has also forced a fumble. Last year alone, he played in all 16 games (11 starts), while racking up 84 tackles and two sacks. He stands at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds.
While there is still plenty of time for the Lions to make more additions if they so choose to do so, Jones will join a linebacker corps that features Kennard, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Jarrad Davis. Davis is a lock for a starting spot, while Reeves-Maybin and the two newcomers are likely to compete for starting time.
While nothing is set in stone yet, today’s two additions at linebacker seem to indicate that the Lions are prepared to move on from Tahir Whitehead, who is currently prepared to hit the open market. Nick Bellore and Paul Worrilow are also linebackers who are about to become free agents, and all indications are that the team is letting them walk.
While new contracts cannot be sign until free agency officially begins on Wednesday, teams are allowed to talk with players who are about to hit the open market.
On top of the two new players that Detroit has agreed to sign, they also re-signed safety Tavon Wilson to a two-year deal. Reports also indicate that defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles.