Lions Bringing Back Productive Linebacker After 1 Season Away

Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Getty Jalen Reeves-Maybin on the field with the Texans in 2022.

The Detroit Lions have made the 2023 offseason about adding familiar culture fits as much as getting new players into the mix that can fill key roles.

Like Graham Glasgow before him, the team has seen the return of yet another former glue player revealed in linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin. On Wednesday, March 22, Reeves-Maybin’s agent Brian McLaughlin tweeted that his client was set to come back to Detroit on a new deal.

“Client Jalen Reeves-Maybin has agreed to terms on a deal with the Lions. JRM back in Detroit,” McLaughlin tweeted on Wednesday night.

Last offseason, the Lions didn’t bring Reeves-Maybin back ahead of free agency, and he walked away, signing a two-year deal with the Houston Texans. Reeves-Maybin was then let go after just one season with the team on March 16, 2023.

It has taken the Lions only about a week to scoop Reeves-Maybin up, so clearly they like him and what he brings to the mix for their roster. They likely believe in him in terms of special teams as well as the potential to play a bigger role within their defense.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin Adds Depth to Defense, Special Teams

The addition of Reeves-Maybin back to the Lions provides the team with an interesting player on a couple different fronts.

Perhaps the biggest way that Reeves-Maybin’s return benefits the Lions is that it adds a player to a familiar group on special teams that is very good. Detroit lost standout special teams linebacker Chris Board over the weekend to New England, so bringing Reeves-Maybin back will add major depth to that group.

Additionally, Reeves-Maybin has looked the part of being a potential quality starter for the Lions. The linebacker put up 82 tackles, two forced fumbles, four passes defended and one fumble recovery in his final season with the Lions in 2021. He also played in 15 games with 11 starts that season.

With the Texans, Reeves-Maybin struggled to make a huge impact, thought he played in 17 games with no starts. He put up just 15 tackles and one fumble recovery, never really looking at home in his new surroundings.

Now that he is back in Detroit with a familiar staff, the hope is that Reeves-Maybin can pick up where he left off on both sides of the ball.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin’s Career Stats & Highlights

After being a fourth-round pick of the Lions in the 2017 NFL draft, Reeves-Maybin has played an inconsistent role with the Lions the first time around. He hasn’t started immediately nor locked down any type of significant starting role on the team’s defense.

When Reeves-Maybin has played, he has been able to put up decent numbers, with 187 tackles, six passes defended, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries to go with 0.5 sacks during his career. There’s a chance if this new staff gives Reeves-Maybin a bigger role he could end up accounting for more production. In 2021, he delivered on that idea with 82 tackles.

Here’s a look at some of his highlights from college:

At Tennessee, Reeves-Maybin was a productive player given he put up 240 tackles, 8.0 sacks and an interception in his career. That kind of versatile production is just what the Lions need, and could hope to get from Reeves-Maybin as a complementary piece on the defense this time around.

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