With just over an hour to go until the deadline to sign players with the franchise tag arrived, the Lions finally locked up defensive tackle Cory Redding, and boy, he sure got paid. According to John Clayton, Redding has agreed to a 7-year, $49 million contract loaded with guaranteed money and bonuses.
Redding will receive a little more than $20 million over the first three years of his contract.
First things first, I am very glad that the Lions were able to get this deal done. It is important to have Redding on the team for years following 2007, and obviously, that will be the case now. Let's imagine a deal wasn't agreed to by the 4:00 p.m. deadline. Redding would only be able to sign the 1-year franchise tender worth $6.77 million. After this season, he would become a free agent and probably leave Detroit considering he would have the chance to find a better team and get paid at the same time. All of that won't happen now that Redding is locked up for 7 years.
In the future, Redding has the chance to become a force in the league at the defensive tackle position, and the Lions obviously believe he will considering he is now the highest paid player at DT. I'm not even going to get into the question of whether he did deserve this big of a payday or not. We will have to let the next few seasons play out to find an answer.
Looking into this coming season specifically, Redding will now line up at DT alongside Shaun Rogers. That makes for an awfully good combination on the inside of the Lions' defensive line. Both have the chance to make this Lions d-line one of the best in the NFL.
Redding now will be at training camp when it starts next week, which is always a good thing for a player that still has so much potential to reach, even if he is already a great player. All in all, kudos to the Lions for making sure Cory Redding stays a Detroit for years to come.