In what has been a waiting game for the past two weeks for the Detroit Lions, they have finally landed a free agent safety. James Ihedigbo signed with the team last night, according to his Twitter account:
— DIGGZ32 (@JamesIhedigbo) March 25, 2014
Ihedigbo visited the Lions during the first week of free agency, but was in between agents at the time, so negotiations hit a wall. According to Lions’ insider Tim Twentyman, the contract is for two years but the money has yet to be released to the public.
Ihedigbo came into the league undrafted out of Massachusetts and was picked up by the New York Jets in 2008. He spent three seasons there and one with the New England Patriots before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. During his time in Baltimore, he played under current Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who was his defensive backs coach at the time. Ihedigbo made a name for himself last year, which was easily the best of his career to date. He had a career-high 101 tackles and three interceptions.
Current strong safety Glover Quin will likely move to free safety, placing Ihedigbo in the strong safety slot. Quin is a little more versatile in the passing game while Ihedigbo is a sure tackler who will provide support in the run game.
Now that the Lions have filled their need at the safety position, it will be interesting to see their approach in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Many experts still have them taking a receiver such as Mike Evans or possibly trading up for Sammy Watkins. Others have them taking a cornerback such as Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard, which is definitely a positional need. The signing of Ihedigbo was a good one for the Lions, though, bolstering up the defense a little more.