The Detroit Lions have decided to tender defensive end Willie Young a contract at the second-round level, according to Tim Twentyman. Young, who will become a restricted free at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, is now set to make $2.023 million in 2013.
I'm a bit surprised that the Lions went with a second-round tender for Young instead of one at the original-round level. Fellow restricted free agent Jason Fox was tendered at the original-round level on Monday, and he will get $1.323 million as a result. That's a difference of $700,000 compared to Young, and that is a notable amount given that the Lions don't have a ton of cap space.
The Lions probably settled on a second-round tender for Young because they didn't want to risk losing him. Not only would they have only gotten a seventh-round pick back if they lost him at the original-round level, but they would still only have Ronnell Lewis under contract at defensive end. Young didn't have a good season in 2012, but he's got good upside, and clearly the Lions didn't want to risk another team signing him.
With Young and Fox tendered, the only restricted free agent whose status is up in the air is safety Amari Spievey. The Lions may pass on tendering him because of his issues with concussions in the past, but nothing has been announced on him one way or another just yet.