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Detroit Lions re-sign LB Steve Longa, DE Mitchell Loewen

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The Lions have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Training Camp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With free agency about a month away, the Detroit Lions are getting a head start on re-signing some of their own players before their contracts officially expire. The team announced Monday afternoon that linebacker Steve Longa and Mitchell Loewen have re-signed with the team for the 2019 season.

Both Longa and Loewen were exclusive right free agents (ERFA), meaning the Lions had the opportunity to offer both extremely cheap one-year deals, and the players would either have to accept the contract or sit out the entire 2019 season. The team did not announce contract terms, so it’s unclear if they received those ERFA offers. Charles Washington is also an ERFA, so the fact that he hasn’t re-signed with the team yet is notable.

Longa has been part of the Lions roster since 2016, working mostly as a backup linebacker and a valued piece on special teams. Last year, Longa missed the entire season after suffering a torn ACL during Detroit’s preseason game against the New York Giants.

Loewen, on the other hand, was a very late addition to the roster on 2018. After going undrafted in 2016, Loewen spent the next three seasons with the New Orleans Saints. However, the Lions claimed him off waivers just days before their season finale against the Packers, assuming his rights in the offseason. In three years, he has only made three game appearances, and has not registered a tackle in the NFL yet.

For a list of the Lions’ remaining free agents, check it out here.