On Thursday, the Detroit Lions announced that they have re-signed center Ryan McCollum and EDGE Rashod Berry.
McCollum was added to the Lions roster in early October after it was clear the injury to Frank Ragnow was going to be long-term. McCollum was active for 13 games for the Lions last season, contributing mainly on special teams, though he did see snaps on offense in four games. His highest contributing game was Week 14 when he started in place of Ragnow’s replacement Evan Brown. But he was also asked to step up in Week 18 after Brown was injured. Unfortunately, he only played 30 snaps before Jonah Jackson shifted over from guard to center.
McCollum could be competing for the Lions’ backup center job in 2022, as Brown is a restricted free agent going into this offseason.
Berry joined the team in the middle of training camp to help Detroit’s ailing defensive squad. Though he would not end up making the 53-man squad, he did make it to the practice squad... for a day. Detroit brought him back to the practice squad in October, and after injuries plagued the outside linebacker group (Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara saw their season’s end early), he was promoted to the active roster for the final month of the season.
Over that time, Berry made five game appearances as a rotational defender, logging 62 snaps, three tackles, and a quarterback hit.
With the reported release of Flowers upcoming, expect the Lions to continue to add to their edge defender room, meaning Berry will be fighting for a roster spot again come August.
Interestingly, both McCollum and Berry were exclusive rights free agents, but weren’t among the 13 who were tendered earlier in the week. Instead, they have already signed a new contract and are officially back for 2022. The only exclusive rights free agent who has not been tendered or signed is safety Jalen Elliott.