Earlier in the week, Ian Rapoport tweeted the Detroit Lions would be hosting tight end Darren Fells for a visit on Friday. It now appears the Lions have closed on that deal as Mike Garafolo is reporting that Fells has agreed to join the Lions:
TE Darren Fells to the Lions. One-year deal worth $1.5m, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2017
Fells will come in and immediately compete for the No. 1 blocking tight end role with the team. In 2016, the Lions shuffled through tight end after tight end, trying to find a player that could block adequately. With Clay Harbor, Matthew Mulligan and Tim Wright all now free agents, the Lions needed to bring some serious competition in to challenge their current set of young, unproven tight ends.
Fells is an imposing figure at tight end. He’s 6-foot-7, 281 pounds and graded out as the third-best pass blocking tight end in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. In his three-year career with the Arizona Cardinals, he’s only caught 40 passes for 536 yards and 4 touchdowns, so his value lies with his blocking.
On such a small, prove-it deal, the 30-year-old player will have a chance to show Detroit he can still play at the NFL level.
UPDATE: The team has confirmed the signing: