LIONS INSIDER

TWENTYMAN: Lions agree to terms on a one-year deal with veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis

Posted Apr 14, 2014

Rashean Mathis was the Detroit Lions' most reliable cornerback last season and it’s earned him a return for the 2014 season.

Rashean Mathis was the Detroit Lions' most reliable cornerback last season and it’s earned him a return for the 2014 season.

Rashean MathisCB Rashean Mathis (Photo: Gavin Smith)

The Lions and Mathis have agreed to terms on a new one-year deal.

The veteran Mathis joined the Lions in the middle of training camp last year and quickly established himself as the team's most consistent performer from that position.

He replaced rookie Darius Slay in the second half of both of the Lions first two games against Minnesota and Arizona. He took over a starting spot for good Week 3 vs. Washington.

Mathis, 33, finished last year with 47 tackles and defended 15 passes, which ranked in the top 17 in the NFL.

He played in a total of 15 games in his first season in Detroit with 13 starts after spending his previous 10 seasons as a full-time starter in Jacksonville.

Mathis had a particularly strong final four games in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus, allowing five receptions for 66 yards in Weeks 14-17.

Mathis’ addition to the roster gives the Lions another veteran, along with Chris Houston and Cassius Vaughn (signed last week), to compete for playing time and to also be a sounding board for young cornerbacks Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green.

Slay, in particular, should continue to see benefits from Mathis’ experience. Mathis took the then rookie under his wing last year and Slay steadily improved all season, finishing the season very strong.

This will be the 12th season for Mathis, who has played in 152 career games with 142 starts.