The Detroit Lions plan to place a second-round restricted free agent tender on defensive end Willie Young, according to sources. This coming one day after they offered offensive tackle Jason Fox an original-round tender that will pay him $1.323 million in 2013.
If any team wants to put a contract offer in for either player, the Lions will have a chance to match the offer sheet, or receive a second-round pick as compensation in the case of Young and a fourth-round pick for Fox.
Young was originally a seventh-round pick, which is why the Lions must have felt it necessary to bump him up to the second-round level. The highest tender available is a first-round tender at $2.879 million.
Young burst onto the scene in the preseason last year, making impact plays in all four games. He was expected to be a big contributor for the Lions in 2012, but that never fully materialized. He found himself in a reserve role all year and did not record a sack.
But with Kyle Vanden Bosch’s release and Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson set to hit the free-agent market today at 4 p.m., the Lions couldn’t afford to lose a talented rusher in Young, who’ve they’ve developed from a seventh-round pick.
The Lions have also brought in long-time defensive line coach Jim Washburn to help develop their younger talent, Young included. He and Kris Kocurek will share the defensive line coaching duties.
The Lions still have until 4 p.m. to decide on a tender for their other restricted free agent, Amari Spievey.
A starter at safety for most of his first two seasons after making the switch from cornerback, Spievey finished last year on injured reserve, after suffering his second concussion in seven months.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 3 Comments »