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Detroit Lions sign RFA running back Malcolm Brown to an offer sheet

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If the Rams can’t match the Lions’ offer, the Lions will have a new backup running back.

Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Despite hosting Spencer Ware for a visit this week, it looks like the Detroit Lions are more interested in a different free agent running back.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Lions have signed Rams backup Malcolm Brown to an offer sheet.

So what the heck does that mean?

Well, first of all, as Yates indicates, the Los Angeles Rams have an opportunity to match the Lions’ offer. Brown is a restricted free agent, and the Rams offered him an original-round tender. That gives them an opportunity to sign Brown to an identical offer and they would earn Brown’s rights.

However, because Los Angeles only gave him an original-round tender (and not a first or second-round tender), if the Rams decline to match Detroit’s offer (which is unknown at the moment), the Lions will officially sign Brown and won’t have to compensate the Rams with any draft pick, because Brown went undrafted.

The Lions hosted Brown for a visit last week, as we profiled on Friday. As the Rams’ backup running back last season, Brown averaged an extremely respectable 4.9 yards per carry while also contributing significantly on special teams and acting as a solid pass protector.

If Detroit is awarded Brown, he would immediately come in and compete for the backup job behind Kerryon Johnson.