Lions Sign Young Former Saints Tight End as Free Agent

Josh Hill

Getty Josh Hill makes a catch for the Saints.

The Detroit Lions are coming into the offseason with a ton of needs to fill, and they found a player on the market who can get that done in a cheap way.

Detroit revealed on Saturday morning that they had signed free agent tight end Josh Hill, formally of the New Orleans Saints. Hill comes to Detroit after being cut by New Orleans recently, which is why he was allowed to sign a deal prior to the free agency period opening up later on this coming week.

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The reason Hill signed with Detroit so soon? Likely it has to do with the fact that Dan Campbell, his former position coach, has taken the job with the Lions as head coach. If there’s anybody who would know what Hill brings to the mix, it would be Campbell, who could perhaps unlock some additional talent in Detroit and gets what he can do.

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Josh Hill Stats

At 30 years old, Hill is an interesting addition for the Lions given what he has done in the league so far. Hill is likely more of a blocking tight end, but he can make some catches too, given the fact that he has 1,071 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career. Hill came out of Idaho State in 2013 and has played his entire career in New Orleans until his recent release from the team.

Interestingly enough, Hill has a history making touchdown to his credit, having been on the receiving end of Drew Brees’ 540th touchdown pass, which broke Peyton Manning’s NFL record. In Detroit, Hill will come in and add to the depth of a group that has seen departures and inconsistency in recent years and is looking for much better results in the future in terms of catching the ball and getting after it up front.

Lions Tight End Depth Was Thin

Adding Hill is a key move for the Lions given the fact that the team doesn’t have much in the form of depth. One thing that seemed like it could work in the favor of Jesse James before his release was the fact that the Lions don’t have great depth at tight end. 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 and is better as a receiver, and the team just signed Alize Mack a month ago, but he doesn’t have any NFL production to rely on at this point in time.

The good news for the Lions? Hill will add some good depth for the team at a key spot on the roster. He could be expected to be the second tight end to Hockenson this fall, and if he can be better than James was, that would be the ideal situation for the Lions moving forward.

Now, Hill comes to the team with a shot to make an impact on a young roster looking to rebuild.

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