Lions add two LBs, re-sign DBs Lawson and Wilson

Lions add former Giants and Bears LBs on eve of free agency.

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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions were quick out of the free agency gates to sign multiple players today (verbal agreements until 4 P.M. Wednesday when the new league year begins). They added two free agent linebackers in Devon Kennard and Christian Jones.

Jones, a 27-year-old inside linebacker who played last season with the Bears, signed a reported two-year, $7.75 million contract with Detroit.

Kennard, 26, is an edge-rushing linebacker formerly with the New York Giants. He signed an even bigger contract, getting three years at $18.75 million.

The Lions re-signed a couple of key pieces to their secondary. After rumors about a potential Malcolm Butler signing, Detroit decided to re-up with starting defensive back Nevin Lawson on a two-year, $9.2 million incentive-laden deal that could reportedly get as high as $10 million.

Detroit also brought back versatile safety Tavon Wilson, 27, on a two-year, $7 million contract. These pieces give some stability to an above-average Lions secondary that’s led by Darius Slay and Glover Quin.

The moves at linebacker reflect a Matt Patricia defense that is more rooted in a 3-4 scheme, with a bigger emphasis on a pass-rushing role from the linebackers. Tahir Whitehead is probably on the outs, with Jarrad Davis manning the middle for the foreseeable future and second-year linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin still in the fold.

The Lions will officially get started tomorrow at 4 P.M. Wednesday, as the new league year begins and players can sign their contracts. Stay tuned to Full Press Lions for more free agency coverage!

-Follow @FPC_Lions and @MattUrben on Twitter.

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