It turns out that quarterback Shaun Hill wasn't the only Detroit Lions free agent to be re-signed to a two-year deal tonight. Offensive tackle Jeff Backus is also coming back on a two-year deal, according to Tim Twentyman.
The move to re-sign Backus comes just a day after offensive tackle Marcus McNeill visited the Lions. He left without signing a deal and said that his chances of ending up in Detroit would likely depend on what happens with Backus. Now that we know Backus is returning, it looks like McNeill can be scratched off the list of possible additions.
Although nothing is ever a sure thing, the move to re-sign Backus has been expected ever since the offseason began. While he did suffer a torn bicep in the playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, Backus should be ready to go by training camp. Sure, there was the thought of the Lions changing things up and going in a different direction, but Backus will be back in 2012 for his 12th season with the team.
The Lions could still draft an offensive tackle in April to build for the future, but with Backus under contract for two years, it appears he is expected to start at left tackle through 2013. After that, it's anyone's guess.
UPDATE: The numbers are out on Backus' new deal.