Ex-Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai has agreed to sign a five-year, $50 million contract with the Detroit Lions once the new NFL year officially begins Wednesday, according to NFL insider Adam Caplan.
The 26-year-old was selected by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft. This was his first chance at free agency after playing out his rookie deal.
The Lions cut offensive tackle Rick Wagner last week, which saved $6.1 million against the cap.
According to Pro Football Focus, Vaitai played 476 offensive snaps for Philly and allowed two sacks while committing four penalties across 16 games (three starts) last season.
The TCU product has appeared in all 16 regular-season games in each of the last three seasons after a sprained MCL limited him to seven contests during his 2016 rookie campaign. However, he only started 20 of his 55 games as an Eagle behind a stacked offensive line.
Lions starting quarterbacks last season—Matthew Stafford, Jeff Driskel and David Blough—were sacked 43 times in 2019. Stafford was limited to eight games and saw his streak of 136 consecutive starts snapped due to a back injury. Driskel stepped in for three games before suffering a hamstring injury, which led to Blough starting the last eight games for the 3-12-1 Lions.