C.J. Mosley apologizes to new teammate Matthew Stafford for hit in 2009

Posted Apr 3, 2013

In what would turn out to be a defining performance for then-rookie Matthew Stafford, newly-signed DT C.J. Mosley laid a textbook hit to separate Stafford's shoulder

The Detroit Lions have a new defensive tackle in C.J. Mosley, who signed a two-year deal with the team Wednesday after a free agent visit to the Allen Park headquarters.

Lions fans might remember Mosley from the hit he laid on quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2009 at the end of a memorable last-second win vs. Cleveland.

Matthew StaffordQB Matthew Stafford following a last-second win vs. Cleveland his rookie season in 2009. (AP Images)

In a desperation attempt to tie the game trailing by six points, Stafford - then a rookie - scrambled around with no time left on the clock before heaving a pass into the end zone. Right as Stafford let go of the ball, Mosley came in with a textbook hit that separated Stafford's left shoulder.

The Browns secondary was called for interference and the Lions got a untimed down at the 1-yard line.

Stafford, doing his best to avoid trainers and medical personnel, rushed back onto the field to throw the game-tying touchdown to Brandon Pettigrew with no time left. The Jason Hanson extra point won the game and kick-started Stafford's career (and reputation) in Motown.

"I actually just ran into Stafford in the locker room today and the first thing he said was, 'I remember this guy," Mosley told after signing his contract. "I said, 'Look, man, I apologize.' He said there were no hard feelings. We shook hands. We're cool.

"You can tell the City of Detroit and all the fans that I apologize."

The 6-2, 310-pound Mosley is a good fit for a Lions team looking to add interior-line depth. He started a career-high 13 games for Jacksonville in 2012, racking up 45 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Mosley said it was an easy decision to sign with Detroit for the opportunity to play with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, and after sitting down with the defensive coaches.

"All the defensive guys I met -- Coach (defensive line coach Jim) Washburn and Coach Gun (defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham) -- have the same mentality I have, which is basically kick you know what," Mosley said.

"At the same time, I'm very excited to play with the guys they have here. They have two young beasts at defensive tackle and I'm very excited to play with them."

The Lions have a significant need for depth at defensive tackle with Sammie Hill signing with the Tennessee Titans in free agency and Corey Williams still testing the free agent waters. Mosley, 29, adds veteran experience, depth and playmaking ability to the unit.

"It'll be a good rotation there but they are the guys," Mosley said of Suh and Fairley. "I've been told I'm the third tackle. That's what it is and that's my role. I fully grasp that role and I just want it to be a plus for everybody."

Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Jimmy Saddler-McQueen fill out the current roster at defensive tackle.

Mosley previously played for the Vikings (2005), Jets (2006-08) and Browns (2009). He signed with Jacksonville in October 2010 and was released Monday.