LIONS INSIDER

Corey Hilliard prompted to re-sign by an opportunity to start

Posted Mar 12, 2013

T Corey Hilliard jumped at the chance to return to Detroit considering the foreseeable changes along the offensive line

Corey HilliardThe opportunity to remain within a system he's familiar with and a chance to start are the two main reasons Corey Hilliard signed a two-year free agent contract with the Lions, which became official Tuesday.

"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 Gosder Cherilus will not be back in a Lions uniform in 2013.

With the signing of Hilliard, and the team's restricted free agent tender offer to tackle Jason Fox on Monday, it appears the Lions are ready to move into a younger, more athletic phase along the right side of their offensive line.

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."