The Detroit Lions have reshaped their roster with the first wave of free agency and the draft, and might be looking to continue the renovation in the second wave of free agency this spring.
Now that signings don’t count against the compensatory pick formula, the Lions could be expected to perhaps get a little more active in terms of moves. Interestingly enough, they are set to host one of their former players in Darren Fells to a free agency visit.
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According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Fells is set to visit the Lions Tuesday night. The team could be exploring a return for the veteran, who’s been a productive NFL pro and signed with the Lions in 2017.
Veteran TE Darren Fells is visiting the #Lions tonight, source says. Coming off 11 TDs in two seasons with the #Texans (plus another in the playoffs), Fells is exploring a return to Detroit, where he played in 2017.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 4, 2021
Fells departed Detroit and had a successful run in Houston, and now is a free agent looking for a new home. Detroit’s tight end depth outside T.J. Hockenson is questionable, so it’s easy to see how he would fit in the Motor City if he were to come back. Outside Hockenson and Josh Hill, the team doesn’t have much talent at the spot, so a second tight end could theoretically be in the mix for a return to provide some depth.
Fells’ Stats and Highlights
Fells has has a solid run in the NFL, and at 35, might be far from done in terms of his own career after the numbers he has been putting up recently. He had a solid three-year run with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the Lions for a season, signed with the Cleveland Browns for 2018 and then landed in Houston, where he’s been the last two seasons. Fells has put up 21 touchdowns and 1,483 receiving yards in his career. Interestingly, half of those scores came the last two seasons when he played with the Texans. In Detroit, Fells put up 177 yards and 3 scores in 2017.
Here’s a look at some of Fells’s best work in Houston recently:
It’s obvious to see how Fells could benefit a young Detroit offense and Jared Goff in 2021.
Update on Lions Tight End Depth
This offseason, there’s been tons of moving parts for Detroit at tight end. The team signed Josh Hill, which was a key move for the Lions given the fact that the team doesn’t have much in the form of depth. Jesse James was quickly released earlier this offseason. T.J. Hockenson is entrenched on the roster, but beyond that, there isn’t much at all. Hunter Bryant was injured much of last season which could have played a role in his perhaps falling out of favor with the new staff, and the team also signed Alize Mack early in free agency, but he doesn’t have any NFL production to rely on at this point in time.
Detroit could look at Fells as an interesting addition to a tight end room that could use a bit more depth for the 2021 season. It’s likely the team could land him on a team-friendly, short-term deal.