One Lions coach will be very familiar with McRae’s work: recently hired special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs. McRae has spent the last three seasons as a key player on the Bengals’ special teams unit, where Coombs served as the assistant special teams coordinator. Last season, McRae led the Bengals in special teams tackles on a unit that was ranked No. 1 using Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.
In addition to special teams work, McRae earned some spot duty on defense for the Bengals, most often utilized as a slot cornerback. Last year, he started two games in Cincinnati, tallying 22 tackles, a single pass defended and a PFF defense grade of 47.6.
In Detroit, McRae will likely compete with the likes of Mike Ford and Michael Jackson for a spot on the roster as a special teamer. Earlier this week, the Lions agree to terms with former Vikings safety Jayron Kearse, who should also provide a boost to Detroit’s special teams unit.
UPDATE: Contract deets:
Detroit Lions' one-year deal for former Bengals corner Tony McRae is $1.5 million, per a league source. Should cash in a year from now with a good season in Detroit.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 20, 2020