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Detroit Lions sign former first-round guard Josh Garnett

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The Lions took a low-risk, high-reward player in free agency.

San Francisco 49ers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

With the 2019 season now officially behind us following the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory in Super Bowl LIV, the Detroit Lions went right back to work on Monday afternoon. They announced via Twitter that they have signed former first-round pick and offensive guard Joshua Garnett.

Garnett was taken with the 28th overall pick in the 2016 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He started 11 games his rookie year, but hasn’t started a game since. Garnett has unfortunately dealt with a handful of injuries in his four-year career, including a dislocated toe and dislocated finger.

As a result of the injuries and spotty play, the 49ers declined his fifth-year option for the 2020 season and ended up cutting him prior to the start of the regular season in 2019 anyways. The team attempted to trade Garnett, but because he was held out for most of training camp, no teams were interested. He went the entire season without being claimed by any team, though he worked out for several teams during the season, including the Raiders, Packers, Seahawks, and Texans.

Garnett could be an insurance option for the Lions at right guard. With Graham Glasgow set to hit free agency along with veterans Kenny Wiggins and Oday Aboushi, the Lions’ future at guard is unclear. If the Lions decide to move on from Glasgow and don’t spend significant offseason resources on the position, Garnett could realistically be in competition for a starting job. However, it seems more realistic that Detroit makes notable move at right guard, and Garnett will contend for a roster spot on the depth chart come August.