James Ihedigbo joins the Lions— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) March 25, 2014
Ihedigbo confirmed the signing on his official Twitter account:
The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett reports that the two sides agreed to a two-year deal:
Two year deal for Ihedigbo.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 25, 2014
The 30-year-old defender has spent the past two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, starting 19 regular-season games since 2012. Prior to that, Ihedigbo spent four seasons in the AFC East with the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.
Last season was Ihedigbo's first full season as an NFL starter, and although the Ravens' secondary experienced a significant drop-off, the undrafted veteran finished the year with a career-high 101 combined tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 11 passes defended.
According to Birkett, the Lions first offered Ihedigbo the two-year deal after he visited with them during the first week of free agency earlier this month. However, the former Massachusetts star decided to sit on it and keep his options open because he was in between agents at the time.
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey reacted to the signing as most, labeling it a smart move, but one that doesn't solve all of Detroit's problems on the back end:
Good add, but doesn’t preclude a safety high in the draft RT @RavensInsider: James Ihedigbo joins the Lions— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) March 25, 2014
Although it remains to be seen whether Ihedigbo can revitalize Detroit's defense and help lead the Lions to the playoffs in 2014, there's no doubt this signing is a good move for both parties at the moment. As Birkett points out, Ihedigbo will be playing for a familiar coach in Teryl Austin, who takes over as the Lions' defensive coordinator following three seasons as the Ravens' secondary coach.
With Ihedigbo on board, the Lions could go in any number of directions with the No. 10 overall pick in May's 2014 NFL draft.
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