Brandon Copeland, a player who primarily saw time on special teams while bouncing back and forth between defensive end and linebacker last season will be back in Detroit for 2017.
Tuesday evening, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein reported, per a source, that the Lions signed Copeland to his exclusive rights tender for one year at $615,000:
Lions DE Brandon Copeland has signed his exclusive rights tender, per a source. Copeland is set to make $615,000... https://t.co/EzzuV7Z26G— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) March 8, 2017
Copeland has been a bit of a tweener his entire time in the NFL, splitting between DE and LB in 2015 for Detroit, but the team had made the decision to permanently move him to the defensive line at the onset of 2016.
That decision didn’t last long.
When injuries mounted to Detroit’s linebacking corps early, the team was forced into a tough spot during Week 2’s home opener against the Titans; without DeAndre Levy and rookie Antwione Williams suffering from a hamstring early in the game, Copeland was the one of the only active options with experience at the position. The 34 snaps he played in Week 2 were the most he played all season long.
Copeland provides quality depth at special teams and an emergency option should Detroit ever experience disaster at linebacker.
In 32 career games, Copeland has 16 tackles, 0.5 sacks and one forced fumble.