The Detroit Lions made their first roster moves in preparation for the 2021 season, signing five players to reserve/future deals. Wide receivers Victor Bolden and Tom Kennedy, guard Evan Brown, safety Jalen Elliott, linebacker Anthony Pittman were all given deals and will be part of Detroit’s eventual 90-man squad.
Future deals are given to players that did not finish on the 53-man roster and are at minimum-salary levels. Typically, teams hand them out to most, if not all, of the players that finished the season on their practice squad. However, with expanded practice squads this year, it’s likely some will get left off.
Victor Bolden and Tom Kennedy have been long-term projects that have yet to see the field in Detroit. Both have been on and off the practice squad over the past two years, but have yet to find a gameday role. Those two join Quintez Cephus and Geronimo Allison as the only wide receivers under contract for 2021.
Evan Brown actually made a couple of game appearances late in the season as the Lions’ injuries piled up on the offensive line. He played center when Frank Ragnow and Joe Dahl were injured, and slid over to play some left guard in the season finale when Jonah Jackson was injured.
As for Jalen Elliott and Anthony Pittman, both are undrafted defenders looking to crack the active roster. Elliott was one of Detroit’s initial UDFA signings this year, while Pittman was one in 2019.
One notable name that isn’t on this initial list of future deals is long snapper Steven Wirtel. That could mean the Lions are confident Don Muhlbach will be coming back, but it’s still very early in this process.