The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with free agent defensive
back Eric Wright.
Wright, who has played all four of his NFL seasons with
Cleveland, has agreed to leave the Browns and join the Lions,
according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to
The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the
team hadn’t announced the move.
Wright started all 16 games in 2008 and 2009, and 10 games last
Detroit did announce several other signings, some of which
seemed like formalities after agreements were confirmed earlier in
the week by agents or the players themselves. Teams could talk to
veteran free agents, but couldn’t sign them until Friday.
The Lions signed free agents Justin Durant, Rashied Davis,
Maurice Leggett and Quinn Pitcock. Durant, a linebacker, played
four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Davis, a wide receiver,
played six years for the Chicago Bears.
Leggett, a cornerback, hasn’t played since 2009, when he was
with the Kansas City Chiefs. He injured his neck during last year’s
Pitcock was drafted by the Colts in 2007 and played for them
that year. He abruptly left the sport at age 24 and sought
treatment for what he said was anxiety and mild depression. He
resurfaced last year, signing with Seattle, but he was released
before the regular season.
Detroit also signed several of its own free agents Friday,
including center Dylan Gandy, kicker Dave Rayner, quarterback Drew
Stanton, safety John Wendling, fullback Jerome Felton and defensive
tackle Andre Fluellen.
The Lions released linebacker Jordon Dizon and wide receiver
Bryant Johnson and signed the following exclusive rights players:
linebacker Korey Bosworth, linebacker Caleb Campbell, offensive
tackle Corey Hilliard, wide receiver Stefan Logan, cornerback
Prince Miller, linebacker Ashlee Palmer, safety Randy Phillips and
cornerback Paul Pratt.
Although Detroit has an imposing defensive line anchored by
Ndamukong Suh, the Lions can use a defensive back of Wright’s
caliber. Coach Jim Schwartz spoke to reporters Friday before the
Lions could start announcing signings. He wouldn’t discuss players
by name, but he talked a bit about Detroit’s hopes for improvement
in the secondary.
”Every time we went to the podium after announcing a draft
pick, the first question I got was, `How come this wasn’t a
corner?’ So we had to get you guys off our back somehow,” Schwartz
said. ”I think that the one thing that happened last year with our
cornerback position was we had a lot of guys get hurt.”
Detroit drafted five players this year, but no defensive