clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lions free agency: Recapping Detroit's crazy Wednesday

The Detroit Lions had quite a second day of NFL free agency. Let's take a look back at what made it so crazy.

Day 1 of NFL free agency provided plenty of interesting pieces of news, but there weren't really any serious developments on the transaction wire for the Detroit Lions. Much like the start of NFL free agency a year ago, the Lions didn't rush out and sign a big name or anything like that. They planned on bringing in some big names for visits, but relatively speaking, things were pretty quiet in Detroit as free agency opened.

The second day of free agency, to say the least, was quite different when it came to the Lions' activity. They made Wednesday -- 3/13, fittingly (dubbed 313 Day for Detroit) -- a day to remember by signing player after player. The moves sent Lions fans into a frenzy, and they created quite a buzz nationally as well. Here's a look back at what made Wednesday so memorable. (Note: All times Eastern.)

10:18 a.m. - Lions re-sign CB Chris Houston

The move that set the stage for a wild second day of free agency did not involve one of the free agents in on a visit. Instead, it involved the Lions re-signing one of their own free agents. There had been some talk on Tuesday night that the New England Patriots were interested in Chris Houston, so it wasn't clear if the Lions were going to be able to re-sign him. On Wednesday morning, however, word broke that Houston had in fact been re-signed by the Lions to a five-year deal.

11:44 a.m. - Lions restructure DT Ndamukong Suh's contract

In what was perhaps a sign that business was about to pick up, the Lions restructured Ndamukong Suh's contract to free up cap space. They had hoped to extend Matthew Stafford's deal so restructuring wasn't necessary, but as the rest of the day showed us, they couldn't afford to wait for something to happen with Stafford. As a result, they dropped Suh's cap hit by converting his base salary into a signing bonus.

Jerry Mallory recaps Day 2 of free agency
11:52 a.m. - Lions sign DE Jason Jones

With the Houston deal out of the way, the Lions turned their attention to the three free agents visiting the team's facility in Allen Park. The first of the three who actually got a deal done was the one with the shortest drive. Detroit's own Jason Jones, who started his visit shortly after free agency opened on Tuesday, agreed to a three-year deal with the Lions on Wednesday morning.

"... showing just how big of a splash this move made on the national level."
1:15 p.m. - Lions sign RB Reggie Bush

The biggest news of the day, of course, involved running back Reggie Bush. He was the free agent Lions fans had been keeping an eye on for months and months, and when word got out shortly after 1 p.m. about a press conference being called, it wasn't too tough to connect the dots. Soon after this, we officially got word that the Lions had signed Bush to a four-year deal. Within minutes, "Lions and Reggie Bush," "Reggie Bush to the Lions" and "#Lions" were all trending on Twitter, showing just how big of a splash this move made on the national level.

1:58 p.m. - Lions introduce Bush

Fans got their first look at Bush in a Lions hat around 45 minutes after news of his deal broke. He was introduced at a press conference, and he talked about what went into his decision to sign with Detroit.

2:29 p.m. - Lions sign S Glover Quin

Before anybody even really had a chance to catch their breath after the Bush news, it came out that the Lions had signed safety Glover Quin to a five-year deal. The drama was only just getting started with this particular news, though. Shortly after Adam Schefter's initial report about Quin, he backtracked a bit, indicating that this might not actually be a done deal. It seemed as though the Houston Texans were making a late run at re-signing Quin, but for the next 45 or so minutes, nobody was really sure what was going on. Then, just like that, it was confirmed that Quin had in fact gotten a deal done with Detroit, meaning the Lions went 3-for-3 with the free agents they brought in for visits.

3:37 p.m. - Lions keep the door open for S Louis Delmas

As if the day hadn't already been wild enough, word emerged in the afternoon that the Lions were still in contention for safety Louis Delmas. It was assumed that Delmas was going to sign with the St. Louis Rams, especially after the Lions added Quin, but that didn't turn out to be the case. By the end of the day, Delmas left the Rams for a visit with the San Francisco 49ers, meaning he is still unsigned. The Lions are still apparently in the mix for him, but his situation hasn't progressed to the point where any deals have been accepted.

4:26 p.m. - Panthers sign CB Drayton Florence

By the late afternoon, the Lions were done for the day when it came to signing free agents, but the news didn't stop just because of that. Instead, the focus shifted to the status of some Lions free agents who were departing for other teams. First up was Drayton Florence, who signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

4:33 p.m. - Titans sign DT Sammie Hill

Just minutes later, Sammie Hill officially joined the Tennessee Titans. He hadn't been expected to re-sign with the Lions, and it became clear why when it was announced that Hill received a three-year deal worth $11.4 million from the Titans.

7:19 p.m. - Seahawks sign DE Cliff Avril

The last major piece of news on Wednesday involving the Lions was that defensive end Cliff Avril had signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks. The expectation was for him to leave Detroit for a much bigger deal elsewhere, but he only ended up with $15 million over two seasons. That alone was surprising, and the fact that he landed in Seattle made it even more of a shocker.

Where things stand now

With the initial wave of free agency complete and their major moves out of the way, the Lions are expected to turn their attention back to re-signing some more of their own free agents. Long snapper Don Muhlbach has already been re-signed on Thursday, and other moves may be on the way. I don't expect anything major to happen with free agents from other teams at this point, but I suppose if Wednesday taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected.

Thanksgiving deal: Save 20% on PODD

What's more Lions than football on Thanksgiving!? To celebrate the holiday, use promo code GOLIONS20 to save 20% on your first year of Pride of Detroit Direct. Sign up today for exclusive game analysis, subscriber-only videos, and much more!