Willie Young has left the building. The Detroit Lions starting left defensive end has moved a few hours west to division rival Chicago Bears. He signed a three year deal worth $9 million, $3.5 million of that guaranteed.
This wasn’t entirely unexpected. After the first few days of free agency, it became obvious that the Lions would not be able to afford resign Young, they just didn’t have the cap space to retain him. This leaves the Lions with Ziggy Ansah, Devin Taylor and last year’s free agent signee Jason Jones left at defensive end. Jones was projected as a starter last year, but an injury left him sidelined for the majority of the 2013 season.
Young is a former seventh round pick of the Lions and they had groomed him into the player he is now. It is disappointing to see a player like Young move on before Detroit could capitalize on the patience and faith they showed him as a project, but that is how the NFL works now. Golden Tate left Seattle for Detroit yesterday after posting the best season of his young career. What goes around comes around.
The Lions did sign defensive tackle Vaughn Martin today. Martin is expected to compete for the fourth tackle position behind Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairly and C.J. Mosley. Martin played in only three games last year for the Miami Dolphins while suffering from a sports hernia. He recorded just one tackle.