Blough had previously been eligible for a restricted free agent tender, but the Lions elected to let him hit free agency before bringing him back. Terms of the deal have not been announced but based on similar situations, it is expected to be somewhere near the league minimum—likely slightly above—which he has played at the last three seasons in Detroit.
Despite being traded for by the previous regime, the Lions 2021 coaching staff and front office elected to retain Blough last season, and with the league's COVID-19 restrictions still in place at the time, the Lions opted to keep three quarterbacks on the roster.
While Blough challenged Tim Boyle—who has also re-signed this offseason—for a top-reserve role, Blough eventually settled in as the Lions’ third quarterback. He only saw the field for four snaps last season, in mop-up duty, rushing for six yards and not attempting a pass.
While Blough wasn’t needed on the playing field in 2021, he offers the team some positive advantages beyond just being insurance at the position. First, Blough is intelligent and gives the Lions another set of eyes in the quarterback's room, specifically when breaking down an upcoming opponent. Furthermore, as our own Jeremy Reisman pointed out in his free-agent profile of the reserve quarterback, Blough offers plenty of upside on the practice field as well.
Here’s head coach Dan Campbell talking about Blough running the scout team as they prepared for Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
“First, you’ve just got to get the functionality of it, and so I know Blough can do all of that stuff. He gets the shifts, the motions,” Campbell said.
Re-signing Blough follows a pattern by this front office this offseason, which I outlined in my Lions’ free agent strategy piece on Wednesday. A quick summarization of the article basically explains that the Lions are putting insurance options in place ahead of the draft so that they can be flexible and select the best player available.
While Blough is a quality backup to have on the roster, by no means will he alter the Lions' draft plans. If the right quarterback is available at the right spot, this re-signing wouldn't prevent them from pulling the trigger. And even if the Lions didn’t draft a signal-caller, there will likely be an undrafted free agent brought into camp to challenge him for the role.