The signings just keep coming. According to Mike Garafolo, the Detroit Lions checked off another box in their free agency wish list. According to Garofalo, the Lions are signing former Steelers tight end Jesse James.
#Lions have agreed to a deal with former #Steelers TE Jesse James, source says. Detroit remains active.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2019
The Lions have an extreme need for a tight end, with both Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo not expected to return. Without those two, the Lions only have two tight ends signed to the roster: Michael Roberts and Jerome Cunningham, who have a combined eight starts in between them.
This is another big get for the Lions, as James (24) was one of the younger, best options that the free agency pool had to offer. We profiled James as the best fit for the Lions just last week. Here’s what I had to say:
If the Lions are serious about fixing their tight end problem—in the long-term this time—they need to make a strong play for Jesse James. He’s young, he’s improving, and he’s the well-rounded blocking/receiving tight end the Lions are looking for. He’s probably going to cost a little extra, but the Lions are desperate. Short of making an aggressive trade for a tight end, this is one of the more logical moves the Lions could make.
Combined with Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman and Danny Amendola, the Lions have arguably added four starters on the opening day of free agency. Bob Quinn is doing work.