According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Detroit Lions have agreed to terms to bring back backup center Evan Brown on a one-year deal. Brown was a restricted free agent, but instead of placing a tender on him, the Lions were able to come to an agreement with the 25-year-old offensive lineman. Details of the contract were not immediately available, but Dave Birkett noted that the deal is less than what a tender would have cost, which means it’s less than $2.4 million.
Brown, an undrafted prospect out of SMU in 2018, joined the Lions late in 2020 and was able to crack the 53-man roster last season. After All-Pro center Frank Ragnow suffered a serious turf toe injury in Week 4, Brown took over and played extremely well despite not having started a single game prior to 2021. In 12 starts, Brown earned a solid 66.8 PFF grade and also finished ninth among centers in ESPN’s pass block win rate.
In our free agency profile of Brown, we noted that he may have played his way out of Detroit. But the Lions were able to woo Brown back to the team rather than letting him potentially test the free agency market, which opens up with the legal tampering period on Monday at noon ET.
Earlier this week, the Lions also re-signed third-string center Ryan McCollum, giving the Lions all the depth they should need at the position for the 2022 season.
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