The Detroit Lions concluded their first week of organized team activities on Thursday and now have the holiday weekend off before OTAs start back up on Tuesday. However, it appears one player will not be invited back to the team after the break. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Lions have agreed to terms with running back Matt Asiata:
Source says former #Vikings RB Matt Asiata has agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) May 26, 2017
Asiata reportedly joined the Lions during rookie minicamp earlier in the month, but the team did not immediately sign him. Prior to this year, Asiata spent five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, totalling 1259 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, while averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.
Having finished the 2016 season 30th in rushing yards, 27th in YPC and 26th in rushing touchdowns, many believed the Lions were going to add some help to their backfield in the offseason. However, Detroit did not add a single running back in free agency, nor did they draft one. They did add undrafted free agent Tion Green after the draft had concluded, but there still appeared to be a hole on the roster for a power back behind presumed starter Ameer Abdullah.
Asiata brings that physical nature to the running attack and will compete with Zach Zenner, Dwayne Washington and Green for that role. Asiata is by no means guaranteed a roster spot. Last year, the Lions added Stevan Ridley in free agency, but ended up releasing him before cut day.
The Lions have not confirmed the news, announced a corresponding move or given any contract details at this time.