Johnson Bademosi might be an unheralded member of this year's NFL class of free agents, but he fits the profile of a player who can add the depth to the Detroit Lions' roster that general manager Bob Quinn has targeted for upgrading.
Bademosi, a core special-teams player and backup cornerback in four seasons with the Cleveland Browns after making the roster as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2012, signed with the Lions as an unrestricted free agent Thursday.
Bademosi, who turns 26 in July, has played 62 of 64 games, missing only two games in 2014. He was credited with 71 tackles – 49 solo, 22 assists – with three pass breakups on the Browns' official website for his career in Cleveland.
In 2015 he had a career-high 27 tackles and two pass breakups. His special-teams skills showed up early. As a rookie he had 18 special-teams tackles to rank third in the NFL and No. 1 among rookies.
He said Thursday that he had talked to other teams but settled on the Lions.
"They haven't promised me anything but give me an opportunity to play special teams, and give me an opportunity to play cornerback," Bademosi said in a conference call. "And I'm excited about it."
Bademosi credited Cleveland's coaching staff with developing his skills on special teams, plus stressing the importance of special teams to players who competed on the units.
"It was important to all of us," Bademosi said. "We prepared like it and played with our hair on fire. You've got to prepare, obviously. It has to matter to you. You've got to play like it's important to you. You've got to be relentless, be physical, and be willing to put your body on the line.
"I'm probably a little crazy. I'm willing to do things that other people aren't."
Quinn said at his introductory press conference in January that he wanted to upgrade depth of the Lions roster. He reiterated that when he spoke to the media at the Combine workouts in Indianapolis last month.
"We have some good players," Quinn said at the Combine. "I think the depth really needs to improve, and that's something I'm going to set out and do in free agency – hopefully."