Just before the NFL’s legal tampering period opened up, the Detroit Lions announced a four-pack of defensive re-signings. The Lions announced that linebackers Alex Anzalone and Shaun Dion Hamilton are coming back, along with safeties Jalen Elliott and C.J. Moore.
Anzalone is the big re-signing of the group, as he was a defensive captain for the team last year. Per Dave Birkett, Anzalone’s deal is for one year and worth up to $4 million. He’s coming off a season in which he tallied 78 tackles, 1.0 sacks, seven passes defended, and an interception. Perhaps more importantly, he provided veteran leadership and familiarity with what the Lions wanted to accomplish at the linebacker level. His re-signing doesn’t necessarily guarantee a spot in the starting lineup with that price, but he brings the kind of depth and grit this Lions team covets.
Joining him in the linebacker group is Hamilton, who lost his entire 2021 season due to an undisclosed injury that landed him on injured reserve. Hamilton showed a lot of promise in training camp and at just 26 years old, he could have some room to grow.
As of now, the Lions have seven linebackers signed to the 2022 roster: Anzalone, Derrick Barnes, Josh Woods, Anthony Pittman (ERFA tendered), Curtis Bolden Tavante Beckett, and Hamilton.
Moore’s re-signing had already been announced and is reportedly worth $1.75 million for one year. However, Elliott’s signing is new. Surprisingly, Elliott—a main contributor on special teams—was not amongst the 13 exclusive rights free agents who were tendered last week. However, the Lions, instead, opted to just give him a normal contract. The terms of that deal have not been announced yet.