Israel Idonije Provides Detroit Lions Quality Veteran Depth on Defensive Line

By Andrew Fisher
Israel Idonije
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With the Detroit Lions going through a transition along their defensive line, adding another experienced player almost became a necessity. Two key players from last year’s d-line left town in the offseason (Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch), so the Lions really needed to add another veteran to play alongside Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Jason Jones and Ezekiel Ansah. Long-time Chicago Bears member Israel Idonije became that veteran guy on Tuesday.

Idonije has agreed to a one-year contract with Detroit, and his signing should do wonders for the team’s pass rush. The nine-year veteran has played both tackle and end positions in his career, but he’s primarily been an end over the last three seasons.

After not doing much during the first six years of his Bears’ career, Idonije became a starter in 2010. Since being promoted, the DE has accumulated 20.5 sacks.

At 32 years of age, Idonije’s tank might be starting to get a little low, but he’ll have plenty to give the Lions in 2013. It’s unclear at this point exactly what his role will be with his new team, but you’d have to figure he pencils in as the No. 5 guy along Detroit’s four-man front (for now).

Idonije will bring much needed leadership to a young Lions’ defense, and you can never say enough about that. He might also be playing with a chip on his shoulder this year, after Chicago basically said they weren’t going to pay him what he wanted. He’s been nothing but solid over the past three years, and Lions are hoping he’s got another run left in him.


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