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Detroit Lions sign safety Dean Marlowe

The Lions have added some depth with starting potential at safety.

Washington Redskins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

After a free agency visit on Wednesday, former Bills safety Dean Marlowe has officially signed with the Detroit Lions, the team announced on Thursday morning.

Marlowe went undrafted in 2015, but spent a few years with the Carolina Panthers in mostly a special teams role. In the past three years, however, he expanded his role with the Buffalo Bills. Since 2018, he’s played in 26 games and started seven. Last year in particular was his breakout season, playing in 15 games and starting four. Serving as a versatile safety, Marlowe tallied 22 tackles, two interceptions. 1.5 sacks and three passes defended in 2020 alone.

Marlowe will come in and immediately compete with Will Harris for a starting safety job alongside Tracy Walker. Even if he enters the season as a backup, Marlowe can contribute immediately on special teams. Last year, he played on 215 special team snaps (sixth on team).

Bills head coach Sean McDermott was a big reason for Marlowe’s growth in the league. He was defensive coordinator for the Panthers when Marlowe was there, and he had a big part in bringing Marlow to Buffalo.

“He’s seen the journey of life in the NFL where his career started off in his first year and (he) had success and was expecting in the next year or two to take the job in Carolina,” McDermott said back in 2018. “He never quite got to that, maybe in part due to some injuries. Now, he’s basically reinvented himself (as) another guy, basically, since coming to Buffalo.”

Marlowe can serve several roles on defense, as he was a swiss army knife on the Bills defense last year. Per PFF, he played 54 snaps in the box, 56 at nickel corner and 96 at free safety last season.