Snuck right after Sunday’s bombshell that the Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was a somewhat significant special teams move made by the team. According to several reports, the Lions are signing long snapper Jake McQuaide to a one-year deal worth $1.3 million, including a $152,500 signing bonus.
McQuaide is a significant signing because the Lions had some trouble at long snapper last season, as outlined by Pride of Detroit special teams expert Hamza Baccouche in his free agent profile of current Lions long snapper Scott Daly:
It was a rollercoaster of a season for Daly. As the Lions continued a carousel at kicker, they almost had to begin one at long snapper, with Daly having a tough stretch through the middle of the season. After a punt snap skimmed the ground in Week 7 (his one fumble) and a PAT snap did the same in Week 9, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp came to Daly’s defense.
Though the Lions offered Daly an exclusive rights free agent tender—essentially guaranteeing that he’ll be on the roster during offseason workouts—McQuaide may be considered a significant upgrade. He’s 35, having spent 10 years as the long snapper for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, overlapping time there with current Lions general manager Brad Holmes. He has also made the Pro Bowl twice (2016, 2017).
Last year, McQuaide was the Cowboys’ long snapper, but he suffered a torn tricep in Week 4 and missed the rest of the season.
So, it appears the Lions will have a long snapper camp battle this year.