"Giving me a two-year deal is really huge for my security," Hilliard told Detroitlions.com.
"The fact is, I didn't want to go anywhere else and have to start over again. They told me I have a chance of starting. I have to compete with other guys, but to have a chance is all I really want."
The Lions originally signed Hilliard in 2009 off the Cleveland Browns' practice squad. He played under a restricted free-agent tender in 2012.
He's started five games over a four-year span with the Lions, but there's a chance to win the right tackle spot next year with the likelihood that
With the signing of Hilliard, and the team's restricted free agent tender offer to tackle
Hilliard said the expected changes upfront amount to a "fresh start" for the Lions.
"There are spots open so guys are going to be hungry," Hilliard said. "It's going to be exciting to see how that plays out."