You can go ahead and scratch starting cornerback off the Detroit Lions' list of needs, at least for the 2015 season. I say that because cornerback Rashean Mathis has been re-signed by the Lions to a two-year deal, according to Pro Football Talk. Here are the details on his contract:
35-year-old CB Rashean Mathis returns to Detroit on a 2-year deal; $3.5M total, $2M this year, per source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 18, 2015
Mathis' 2-year includes a $1 million base salary, $1-million signing bonus. If it wasn't the Lions, he was ready to retire— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 18, 2015
This is a big upgrade from the minimum salary benefit deal Mathis received when he re-signed with the Lions last year. However, given what the cornerback market looked like this year and how well Mathis performed in 2014, this wasn't a situation where the Lions could afford to lowball him. Mathis reportedly had "several" teams interested in him, and based on Dave Birkett's above tweet, simply walking away from football was also an option for him.
Considering Mathis graded out as the 12th-best cornerback in the entire NFL on Pro Football Focus last season, getting him back under contract was really a top priority for the Lions. Now they have their starting duo of Mathis and Darius Slay together for at least one more season, and now they don't have to worry about trying to fill a starting spot at cornerback. They do need to start planning for life after Mathis at cornerback considering he will be 35 in August, but they should be able to exercise some patience at this position instead of being in a situation where a rookie might have to be rushed into the starting lineup.