Two years ago, the Detroit Lions signed offensive lineman T.J. Lang after his contract with the Green Bay Packers expired. The Lions appear on the verge of pulling off a similar maneuver for another former member of the Packers. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Detroit and Mike Daniels are finalizing a contract mere days after Green Bay released the veteran defensive tackle.
In Detroit, Daniels joins a defensive line that features All-Pro nose tackle Damon Harrison, big-money free agent Trey Flowers, and Alabama Crimson Tide products A’Shawn Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand. As part of an overhaul of the defense, the Lions also added slot cornerback Justin Coleman in free agency as well as linebacker Jahlani Tavai and defensive back Will Harris on Day 2 of 2019 NFL Draft.
Daniels became a surprise cut this past Wednesday after the Packers reportedly attempted to trade him earlier in the offseason. Whether for cost reasons, injury concerns, a combination of the two, or other reasons entirely, the team couldn’t locate a trade partner. With free-agent additions Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith likely to cut into Daniels’ workload along the defensive interior and Daniels coming off a season in which he lost six games to injury, Green Bay determined that it made more sense to move on from the former Pro Bowl defensive lineman and save over $8.3 million.
Since entering the NFL as a fourth-round pick in 2012, Daniels has totaled 236 tackles (47 for loss), 68 quarterback hits, 29 sacks, and an interception. He also returned a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown during his rookie season.