Lions sign DE Everette Brown, LB Ashlee Palmer and TE Will Heller; host CB Corey Graham

Posted by ttwentyman on March 22, 2012 – 5:00 pm

The Lions continue to add depth to the roster with the signing of defensive end Everette Brown, linebacker Ashlee Palmer and tight end Will Heller to one-year deals Thursday.

Terms of the deals were unknown.

Brown, 24, was in for a visit Thursday and liked what he saw enough to put pen to paper on a new contract.

The Lions have a steady rotation of defensive ends with Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril, Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young, but the way the team covets pass rushers, there’s always room to take a look at a defensive end.

He was a second-round pick by the Panthers in 2009 out of Florida State. He recorded six sacks in two seasons with the team before they released him in final cuts last September.

He played in three games for the Chargers last season.

Palmer, 25, has been with the Lions the last two seasons as a reserve linebacker and steady contributor on special teams. The Lions did not offer Palmer a restricted free agent tender when free agency started March 13, but always wanted to sign him back.

Palmer recorded eight tackles last season and provided fans some of the biggest hits of the season on special teams.

Heller, 31, who’s been with the Lions since 2009, was a salary cap casualty early last week as the team tried to get under the $120.6 million cap.

Heller is the third tight end behind Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, but is the team’s primary blocking tight end or “H-back”. He caught six passes for 42 yards during the regular season and his lone touchdown of the season came in the Lions’ playoff loss to the Saints. He gives the Lions a reliable backup and a very deep tight end unit.

All three signing add depth to the roster, which is the main goal for Martin Mayhew and Co. right now.

The Lions also hosted cornerback and Pro Bowl coverage specialist Corey Graham for a visit Thursday.

Graham was primarily a special teams contributor for the Bears, playing in 16 games with no starts last season. He did have three interceptions in limited action on defense, though.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “Lions sign DE Everette Brown, LB Ashlee Palmer and TE Will Heller; host CB Corey Graham”

  1. By t on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    Who writes these articles? HAHA: “The Lions did not offer Palmer a restricted free agent tender when free agency started March 13, but always wanted to sign him back.”

  2. By CR on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    Mayhew is looking to trade a DE. I can see it now lol.

  3. By Scott E. on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    More likely to protect against Avril holding-out since he was franchised against his wishes.
    It’s a possibility.

  4. By ajarius44 on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    we should pick up marcus trufant

  5. By Petar V. on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    This is a ridiculous offseason. We need defensive backs, so we sign another TE and yet another DE! All while the Bears picked up the top WR this offseason, and the top RB this offseason in Bush, who I personally wished that the Lions would have went for, considering it is going to be another season we have absolutely no running game to help Stafford out. Seriously people, Best is done, kiss him farewell, so who’s our RB then??? LeShoure!?!? Who is comming off a broken ankle, never playing a down in the big leauges, and now somehow he is going to carry us back to the playoffs??? I’m warning every true, level headed Lion fan, we cannot expect anymore playoff games, when we have Chicago with two starting Running Backs, I understand Forte’s situation, but he will be back no matter what, I don’t see him holding out all year, plus we still have our friends to the north, the Cheeseheads to contend with, so after that analysis, how could you give the Lions any sort of chance of making the playoffs? I understand our salary cap issue, but we should have dumped uverpaid talent like Avril, instead of making our offseason about “who we can save from jumping off the boat” we should have looked into a way to sign Calvin, dump salary, and replace the overpaid with fresh young talent, and cheap starters like Micheal Bush, since he would have been the 1st Lion with more than one 100yrd rushing game since Barry. Plus he’s an animal inside the tackles, exactly what a weak offensive line needs. Let’s just say I am not too happy right now.

  6. By ElReyDeLeon on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, I think they are protecting themselves against an Avril holdout. And also to make a point. If this guy looks as good as Avril in the preseason, then that will prove Avril’s stats were just a product of the D-line’s strength and losing him to free agency won’t matter, other than it puts more money back into the team for other FA’s and draft picks.

  7. By carol wadsworth on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    i really like the idea of signing calvin johnson and still having tony sheffler and stephen tulloch , hope you have corners now and beefing up on defense and offense. cant wait to see every one play togeather, it will be awsome. i cant emagine any football team signing p. manning for 96 mil. he is not worth it i dont care if he has played for many years he is done foor the surgeries on his neck will tell that. never liked the guy , never will . the saints are in hot water, and they deserve to be after what they have done. i used to like the saints , not any more.i will stick with my LIONS and be happy, i hope anyway.i hope that FORD FIELD really rocks this year, hope we as spectators can be proud of our team.even at home. i so enjoy watching them on my new HD flat screen, its awsome. but i would like to come see a game this year.hope these new players can prove themselves this year and in years to come. i thank you TIM the twenty man.for listening to me .A DEVOTED LIONS FAN.

  8. By stephanie on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    hey all you lions fans this is going to be a fantastic year to be a lions fan just wait and see all the boys play some football. they have put the fun and the will to win back in detroit again I plan attentending some games. what a party it will bee when we get to that big game the day is coming we will be dancing in the streets.

  9. By cdavid469 on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    I think avril’s stats were a product of this defensive line, when you have to double team guys in the middle it frees up the ends, VDB and Avril both benefit from this, the problem ive seen from this line is they get over aggressive lose track of their assignments and get burned on a scramble or screen. I like the signing because if this kid produces he might be more apt to take a smaller than franchise tag resigning, and at 10.6 million dollars, im think a resigning of 3 to 4 years from this young still viable 2nd round pick for something like 4 years and 15 to 25 million next year with 10 million for sure would make him happy unlinke avril

  10. By ttwentyman on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    Meaning they did not want to tender a reserve backup for more than $1 million, but wanted to bring him back at a friendlier cap number, which they did.

  11. By Billy C. on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    Petar V. you are an idiot, first off Leshoure had a torn achilles not a broken ankle. second, have some faith in lewand, mayhew and schwartz, the lions have done nothing but improve the last 2 years and with a playoff team returning 21 of 22 starters you should expect nothing but improvement. adding players from free agency and the draft will only make the team better.

  12. By Nate A on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    “and cheap starters like Micheal Bush, since he would have been the 1st Lion with more than one 100yrd rushing game since Barry.”

    Kevin Smith worked his tail off for them, so hard he kept getting injured, and i’m pretty sure he had more than one 100 yrd rushing in the season he messed his knee up.

  13. By furiousstylz32 on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry peopple I love Avril…….BUT Willie young is just as explosive if not more

  14. By brett on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    smith had a 100+ rushing yard game against carolina this last year… the draft should at the very least provide improvement in one or two spots… we only have a handfull of holes

  15. By robert brenton on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    I also think avril is great and hope we will manage to keep him. the mistake we made is keeping hill and letting stanton go lets hope nothing happens to stafford or our playoffs will be gone.

  16. By Arnold on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    Petar your an idiot Best is not done, and LeShoure is a beast, CB’s come in draft and they are most likely waiting on O-Line until next year, I predict 12 W’s and AT LEAST the divisional round of the playoffs from this team.

  17. By Teller T. on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    Petar V. I agree with some of what you said like Best is done. But you also had some miss information. Leshoure tore his achillies and, kevin smith had like 100+ last year. why would we even trie to sign Bush when Leshoure is the same kind of runner. You should be happy we didn sign avril 2 a deal. Instead we are sayin ok Clif prove 2 us last year wasnt a fluke. IM a very happy lions fan we let the Bucs give Eric wright a Matt Millen contract. Just go back to schwartz days in Tennesse he dosnt put much stock in DB’s.The only way i would have been bumed is if Tully got away. I do hope that Dre Kilpatrick slips 2 us or we move in 2 top 15 and grab him. Any who cant know one stop The Blue and Silver Pain Train!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. By lions57 on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    WHOA! You all have to remember this is still a young team… the nucleus of this team is VERY young. They will make mistakes and be inconsistent… if they repeat last year and win 10 games and goto the playoffs, I’m happy. I’d know that last year wasn’t luck! Mayhew & company is building a LONG TERM contender… and I would vote for him for mayor.

  19. By loyallionsfan! on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    i want everyone to comment back on this whoever sees this. i say our lions find thereselves a dominant cornerback in the first round a natural ball hawk, a great cover corner (zone or man), instinctive, and physical! without a top cb count on us to lose in the first round again !

  20. By Scott E. on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    They most likely will draft an OL/OT this year. With Backus on payroll for 2 years, that allows him to start position while mentoring his replacement.
    play time will be shared sparringly this year to allow the rookie to get his feet wet, while taking most of the play time from Backus next year…provided he stays healthy and consistenly improves.
    This also allows the Lions the option of tendering Backus on 1-yr deals thereafter, if needed…for continued mentoring, and playmaking ability.

  21. By Russell Wayne on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    Great Offseason so far. We do not need a running back when we have Leshoure. I can’t believe all the haters when we signed 21 out of 22 starters that got us to the playoffs for the first time in years. The Lions are building through the draft and now they only really need secondary, linebackers and late round OL.

  22. By jack ostrander on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    Trade Cliff he is not worth 10.5 million
    The Defence line makes him look good.
    Noticed he don,t want to sign a friendly contract to help out the lions with salary cap. he is bad for the team. get rid of him.

  23. By LPinSLC on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    E. Brown has talent but will be a project just like Lo-Jack was. Nobody knew LJ was going to be successful they just knew he had talent. Brown is the same type of signing. Alot of upsided for a very cap friendly contract. If he doesn’t pan out then out the door with no love lost.

    As for Avril, if he can’t do like the rest of the main contributors have done and help the Lions get to a nice friendly cap number then he can kick rocks, bye. We don ‘t ned a player like that anyways. Do you want to get overpaid? Or win a championship? I’ll choose the player that wants to win.

  24. By Bill OConnor on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    DE Everette Brown will be a beast with this line. I say give him a longer deal while he’s affordable, and not wait until he hs big time numbers to inflate a big time salary. You know like our franchise player!

  25. By Bill OConnor on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    Trade Avril. Keep Brown at a fraction of the price. I believe we’ll get just as good results if he gets the chance. It clears up space and we might be able to get something worth while for Avril, either more picks to use on players or to use in a trade to move up in the second or third round to draft a guy that may have slipped closer to our grasp.

  26. By Alan Pochowski on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    Robert you couldn’t be more right!!! Letting Stanton go was an absolute mistake! He was so clutch for us, great back up…. Hill vs. Stanton, come on lions, you gotta be kidding me! True if we lose Stafford we’re cooked!

  27. By rufo on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    All Avril is right now is trade bait. Sucker in some stupid team like the Jets into trading everything away to get him.

  28. By Zach R on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    Best is not done yet, we have LeShoure and even if Best is done we don’t have to have a dominant rushing game just enough to give us some ball control. We are a pass first offense, we just need a little more than we’ve had in past years running the ball. If we move Backus over to the right side we could sign Marcus McNeill and improve the left side of the line. as far as the secondary goes we have some young talent that just need to produce. If we can get more pressure out of the D-Line then our secondary will improve immensely, we were missing that last year, i would love to see Trufant signed but that is not likely to happen. Being in a playoff hunt last year gained a ton of valuable experience for the entire team and it will only help all to improve going into next year from a physical and mental aspect.

  29. By mike on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    petar v… wow bro you are a jackass. words cant even help what you just spit out. dumbass……..

  30. By rockbo1955 on Mar 25, 2012 | Reply

    I wont slam anybody here but if you look at it the loins our in need of a running back I beleive will not get a full season with the concussion issue we have signed some new people and i would like to see possible rb,cb,ol,defensive speedTheres a long time before the draft and i see moves including trading avril for draft picks or a couple of good players that we could use on the team. I like what the lions our doing and these same people you our critzing brought 3-13 to 11 win season and the playoffs to go deeper into playoff we need a cuople of def,off players to make it to The finish and iam not worried about the bears they didnt sign a megatron reciver that we have and I belive we need one more wr like the michigan wolverine wr.who likes to up for the ball and forces defensive to play the whole field and free up megatron even more, a healthy scat back that is free of injurys and can outrun defenders and make them miss tackles then the fake would work beautifully and then we will score even more and the defense that stop the opposing team!

  31. By Eddie Hiller on Mar 25, 2012 | Reply

    Getting these players signed are a great thing.

  32. By Eddie Hiller on Mar 25, 2012 | Reply

    There will be no team willing to trade for Avril he is worth to much. The other team that tryes to get Avril would have to give up a first round pick for him.

  33. By loudelmas26 on Mar 25, 2012 | Reply

    petar v……. dang man harsh. this team will go at least 10-6 again

  34. By jerry harris on Mar 25, 2012 | Reply


  35. By nick on Mar 26, 2012 | Reply

    petar v sounds like a bears fan not a lions fan… shut ur mouth and let the big boys talk.

  36. By shane burton on Mar 26, 2012 | Reply

    yeah peter v is an idiot. best and la shour are healthy and fine now. we will have a running game this year. what an idiot. “i personally wanted bush”. what an idiot. so you want a running back who can not run up the middle? la shour is a beast and you will beat eating your words brainless wonder.

  37. By Patrick on Mar 26, 2012 | Reply

    I think Mayhew and Schwartz are doing a great job. The team has improved alot since those guys have been here. And all those “nay-sayers” that keep talking about the D-Line maked avril better, DUHHHH, what good players dont make other players look good!!!! That translates into the boys picking good players for our team!!! The more you keep a core team together, the more they know each other and play better together, that is the right ticket. Keep going guys, I have faith in the Lions Management to keep improving our team every year. And as far as Forte, I wouldnt be suprized if he dropped the all every down for what they did to that poor boy, sure wish we could pick him up lol. GO LIONS

  38. By Michael on Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

    True story this peter v is stupid how can you complain about a system that has obviously been working for the lions hello we made the playoffs went 10-6 and the entire time people doubted Jim Schwartz sorry but i think its time for us fans to just sit back and watch the lions hit the Superbowl

  39. By Justin on Mar 31, 2012 | Reply

    I get what you are saying Petar V. and I get what all the Petar V. haters are saying. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Yes, bringing back 21 of 22 starters on a team that went to the playoffs is good, but Petar made a good point about Chicago. The NFC North is an extremely tough division and it has imporved this offseason…drastically. The only team in it right now that hasn’t improved is us. So to say that we are fine because we made the playoffs last year is plan false. But on the otherside you need to keep all those players and then upgrade a few spots through the draft and possible trades which i have confidences we will do. They have done a great job the past two years building this team and im sure they will continue.

    In Mayhew we Trust!

  40. By Detroit Lions #1 on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I forgot about Everette Brown! hE’S AN INTRIGUING pickup.

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