Lions lose Willie Young, add Darryl Tapp
MAR 13, 2014 11:59a ET
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Willie Young is taking his fishing pole to the Windy City.
Young, a former seventh-round draft pick who played his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions, agreed a three-year free-agent contract Thursday with the Chicago Bears worth a reported $9 million with nearly $4 million guaranteed.
Young, 28, made three sacks last season while starting 15 of the Lions' 16 games. It was the first time he had been a starter in the NFL.
The loss is far from unexpected for the Lions, who had to make a salary-cap decision on how much they could afford to offer Young.
Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah and Devin Taylor, both draft picks last year by Detroit, will return at defensive end. The Lions are also hoping for a smooth comeback from a knee injury by Jason Jones, who was signed a year ago as an unrestricted free agent.
Young, now a division rival, will face his former teammates twice next season in the regular season. He is an avid fisherman who celebrates his sacks by pretending to reel in a fish.
The Lions wasted no time finding some potential help to replace him.
Defensive end/outside linebacker Darryl Tapp, an eight-year NFL veteran, reached an agreement on a contract within a few hours after the Young signing broke.
Tapp, who played for the Washington Redskins last season, confirmed the move when he tweeted, "It was a honor and pleasure to play for my favorite team growing up. ... now my journey continues in the "D" ... #Lionblood."
Tapp (6-foot-1, 265 pounds) was a second-round draft pick by Seattle in 2006, but his production has fallen off the last couple seasons.
It's quite possible the Lions could still use one of their draft picks on a defensive end to try to bolster the position.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE SIGNED
The Lions added a former Michigan State recruit for depth at defensive tackle.
Martin (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) was born in Jamaica and grew up in London, Ont. He planned to play for the Spartans but didn't qualify academically and ended up going to college in Canada.
Martin, 27, made 15 starts in 2011 and 12 in 2012 for the San Diego Chargers before playing just three games last season with the Dolphins because of his injury.
--- The Lions announced that receiver Golden Tate, signed Wednesday to a five-year contract, will wear No. 15. He was No. 81 with the Seattle Seahawks, but that number belongs to Calvin Johnson.
--- Fullback Henry "The Hynocerous" Hynoski visited with the Lions Thursday in Allen Park, but then decided to return to the New York Giants on a one-year deal.