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Lions Sign a Tight End, Want a Running Back

With Dan Campbell's health continuing to be a concern, the Lions signed tight end Michael Gaines to add depth to the position.

The Lions added a veteran tight end to the roster with the signing of Michael Gaines, who has started 35 games in four years. Gaines spent his first three years with the Carolina Panthers before joining the Buffalo Bills last season. Gaines will likely be Detroit's starting tight end going into training camp because Dan Campbell (elbow) might not be ready to play until September.

Here are the terms of Gaines' contract:

Gaines has agreed to a four-year contract worth $10 million with $3 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. He is a four-year NFL veteran who spent last season with Buffalo, and the Lions hope his blocking ability will help with their new emphasis on the running game.

Going back to the subject of Dan Campbell, even if he does get back in time for the start of the season, having an extra tight end that is capable of starting is fine.  Since the Lions are going to focus on the running game next season, there will be a need for tight ends that never existed in the Mike Martz offense, and having Gaines on the roster adds depth and skill.

Now that the tight end position is pretty much taken care of depth-wise, the Lions are setting their sights on adding another running back.  T.J. Duckett will likely end up signing somewhere other than Detroit, and Tatum Bell is rumored to be drawing interest from the Cowboys.  Assuming both of those players don't return to Detroit, the Lions will have to sign a free agent RB to get insurance on Kevin Jones.

The first name that the Lions were rumored to have had interest in was Michael Turner, who ended up signing with Atlanta.  Although he is now off the market, signing with the Falcons actually has caused Warrick Dunn to ask to become a free agent.  The Lions will likely take a look at Dunn, but it doesn't really sound like he will have very much interest in coming to Detroit.

The other name out there right now is Julius Jones, who might visit with the Lions, according to the Detroit Free Press.  I would rather have the Lions sign Jones instead of Dunn simply because Jones is younger, but either would be a good addition to this team.