Back on Tuesday morning, it looked like Detroit Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was gone for good. In a simple tweet, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Ngata “intends to sign a one-year deal with Eagles.”
However, the backtracking began almost immediately. Around 40 minutes later Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press told everyone to slow down for a second:
Quick update on the Haloti Ngata to Eagles: I'm told that deal is not done yet, but that there has been talk of him visiting.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 13, 2018
For two days, there hadn’t been much progression in news with Ngata, so the assumption was that he was eventually going to work out a deal with Philly. But on Thursday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport finally mentioned that Ngata was meeting with the Eagles, but the Lions are still in the game:
Free agent DT Haloti Ngata, who played last year for the #Lions, is visiting the #Eagles today, source said. If it goes well, he will likely sign, though Detroit remains interested in having him return for another year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2018
While it still looks like Philadelphia is the odds-on favorite to land Eagles, and they could sign him as early as today, this is the first real sign that the Lions are interested in bringing him back. Though the odds are slim, there’s a chance Ngata returns for another year in Detroit.
If the Lions are serious about bringing back Ngata, they could easily outbid the Eagles. Philly is cap-strapped and has had to make several moves just to get under the cap before the league year started. Detroit, on the other hand, just cleared $8.25 million by cutting tight end Eric Ebron on Wednesday.