Lions Agree to Sign Veteran Free Agent Cornerback From AFC

Darryl Roberts

Getty Darryl Roberts celebrates a big play for the Jets.

The Detroit Lions have focused heavily on their defense in this NFL free agency period, and that work continued on Thursday with yet another signing.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Lions reached an agreement to sign cornerback Darryl Roberts on a one year deal. Roberts has played for the New England Patriots, but most recently was a depth player for the New York Jets.

Detroit needed some extra help at cornerback, but this isn’t the splash type of signing many expected. More than likely, Roberts will add some veteran depth at the cornerback spot in the lead in to the NFL Draft, where the Lions could be expected to look at a cornerback fairly early on.

Darryl Roberts Stats

After coming into the league as a seventh round pick of the Patriots in 2015 out of Marshall, Roberts lasted only a single season in Foxboro. From there, he transitioned to the Jets, where he has spent the last 4 seasons of his career. Roberts has put up a total of 172 tackles, 3 interceptions and 27 passes defended. He was only recently released by the Jets in March after signing an extension with the Jets in 2019.

Lions Biggest Needs Moving Forward Named

The defense seemingly has been the biggest target at this point for the Lions, but there is more work to be done perhaps even after the addition of Roberts.

Now that the first wave of free agency is done, what are the Lions biggest needs remaining on the roster? Recently, CBS Sports analyst Pete Prisco took a look at naming those needs for every team. As he said, while the Lions have done some heavy lifting on defense, much more is required.

Prisco said that he believes the Lions need help at cornerback and along the defensive line. Here’s a look at what he wrote as to why that’s the case:

“By trading Darius Slay, they lost their best corner. But they replaced him with Desmond Trufant, so they can get by if they have to do so. Even so, another corner is needed. They also need help inside on the line. They did sign Danny Shelton and Nick Williams, but is that enough?”

In the aftermath of Detroit’s busy first week, there’s been little said about who the Lions could be targeting now. It seems a safe bet that at least one of these needs if not both will also be addressed in the draft and fairly early.

Prisco is right, however. Both do remain big holes on the team’s defense. Roberts adds some extra depth to help solve that, but his addition alone likely won’t make the Lions think twice about potentially drafting a corner.

Lions Free Agency Signings

The Lions have reached reported free agency agreements with offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai, linebacker Jamie Collins, quarterback Chase Daniel and defensive lineman Nick Williams. Additionally, they’ve added Danny Shelton, Desmond Trufant and Jayron Kearse. Last week, Reggie Ragland, Elijah Lee and Geronimo Allison joined the team. Duron Harmon is coming in via trade. The group upgrades some important spots on the team, and will help the Lions boost the spots that are most needed for 2020. The Lions have managed to get things going quickly and effectively this offseason in free agency to be able to try and reshape their team.

It’s true the defense has been the biggest positive in terms of a remake at the spot, and that might help the team get better as a whole. It’s been a good start even if the team isn’t quite done.

Roberts gives the team more depth at the important spot of cornerback on the roster.

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