Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn may be down in Alabama for the Senior Bowl, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing a little roster maneuvering. On Tuesday, the Lions announced they have signed wide receiver Brandon Reilly to a futures contract.
If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because Reilly spent some time on the Lions’ practice squad this year towards the end of the season. With Detroit’s receiving corps weakened by injuries to Bruce Ellington and Marvin Jones Jr., Reilly was brought in to help build depth, but never made it to the active roster.
Prior to his time in Detroit, Reilly spent most of his rookie season as an undrafted prospect with the Bills. He spent the majority of the year on the practice squad, but was promoted to the active roster as the season came to a close. However, he has yet to make a game appearance.
With the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the 6-foot-2, 200 pound receiver pulled in 70 catches for 1,275 yards and six touchdowns in four years. Reilly displays good awareness and is able to locate and high point the ball well. His hands are also pretty darn strong.
You may be wondering why the Lions waited so long to sign Reilly to a futures contract, seeing as they offered contracts to most of their practice squad players right after the season ended. Well, according to Reilly himself, the Lions offered, but he initially turned them down.
“They offered me a futures contract, but I didn’t sign it because I was thinking about playing in that new league,” Reilly told the Buffalo News, referring to the Alliance of American Football.
However, shortly thereafter, the Cowboys signed Reilly to their practice squad for the playoffs. Now that Dallas has been eliminated from the postseason, Reilly has now clearly accepted the Lions’ offer to return.