Free agency officially opened for business at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and a few roster moves became official for the Detroit Lions.
Here’s a breakdown of what free agency has brought the Lions thus far:
-- The team released tight end Eric Ebron ahead of the 4 p.m. deadline that would have made his fifth-year option guaranteed. Ebron was hot and cold over his four seasons in Detroit, finishing with 186 catches for 2,070 yards and 11 touchdowns.
His departure leaves a void at tight end with only Michael Roberts, Hakeem Valles and Brandon Barnes on roster. Roberts is the only one of the three with any NFL receptions (four last year).
--The Lions signed free agent cornerback DeShawn Shead, who spent the last six years in Seattle.
View photos of cornerback DeShawn Shead.
Shead, 28, played all five positions in the Seattle secondary after he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He could be a versatile piece in Detroit's secondary after making 22 starts in six seasons, 15 of those coming in 2016.
During that 2016 season, Shead (6-2, 212) recorded 81 tackles, defended 14 passes and had an interception. He tore his ACL in the 2016 postseason, which kept him out most of last season before returning for Seattle’s final two contests.
He joins Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Teez Tabor, Jamal Agnew and possibly Quandre Diggs (nickel or safety) at the cornerback position.
-- Detroit re-signed Lawson earlier in the day. Lawson’s started on the outside opposite Slay the last couple seasons, but he came into the league as a nickel cornerback and can play inside too. With Shead and Tabor also in the mix, there should be good competition at cornerback.
-- Safety Tavon Wilson re-signed with the club on Monday. He’s been solid both in the locker room and on the field at the strong safety spot alongside Glover Quin the last couple years. He’s particularly good in the box, and his return gives the Lions some flexibility with Diggs.
Diggs moved from the nickel cornerback spot to fill Wilson’s role the last five games of the season last year after Wilson suffered a season-ending injury, and did very well there. That gives head coach Matt Patricia and the Lions options at both safety, nickel cornerback, the dime package and any other sub packages the defensive coaches can think up.
-- Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s backup last season, Jake Rudock, signed his exclusive rights free agent tender. He’ll be back in the fold at quarterback in 2018.
--Linebacker Nick Bellore also signed on the dotted line on a new deal. The backup linebacker and core special teamer also played some fullback for the Lions last year, and caught a touchdown pass in Baltimore.
-- Long snapper Don Muhlbach has also been re-signed. It will be year No. 15 for him.