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NFL free agency: D.J. Reader signing 4-year, $53 million deal with Bengals

The Lions didn’t land the highest-paid nose tackle.

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are still looking to fill in a big need at nose tackle, but it won’t be with the best player available in free agency this year. As first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader will be signing a record-breaking four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals worth $53 million—or $13.25 million per year.

There were some tepid reports that the Lions were interested in the services of Reader, but it’s unclear if they were ever true players for the premier run-stuffer.

With the release of Damon Harrison Sr. and the impending free agency of A’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels, the Lions are undoubtedly still searching for some help in the middle of their defensive line. They mitigated some of the damage late Monday night by coming to an agreement with Bears defensive tackle Nick Williams. However, Williams is more of a three-tech defensive tackle, leaving Detroit with a major need still at nose.

That being said, there are still plenty of free agents out there that could fit Detroit’s needs. New England’s Danny Shelton, Baltimore’s Michael Pierce and Jacksonville’s Marcell Dareus are just a few examples of players still unclaimed on the market.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.