The Detroit Lions are continuing to retool their secondary. Their latest effort appears to be signing former Bengals cornerback Tony McRae, as first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
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.
Catch up on all the Lions’ free agent signings with our tracker here.
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