Lions agree to terms with free agent DE Israel Idonije

Posted by ttwentyman on June 25, 2013 – 1:29 pm

Israel IdonijeThe Lions significantly boosted the talent level along their defensive line Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with free agent defensive end Israel Idonije, 32.

The 10-year veteran spent the last nine seasons in Chicago, where he racked up 272 tackles and 28.5 sacks. He’s started 42 of the 48 games he played for the Bears the last three seasons.

He had eight sacks in 2010, five in 2011 and 7.5 last season.

The Lions needed to get more production out of their defensive ends in 2013 after only 15.5 sacks from the position a season ago.

The Lions signed free agent Jason Jones within the first 24 hours of free agency and drafted Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah No. 5 overall in April.

Like Jones, Idonije does have the ability to move inside and play defensive tackle. Per Pro Football Focus, he played 514 snaps at defensive end and 212 snaps at tackle in 2012.

Idonije (6-6, 275) will join those two and Willie Young as the likely top-four rotation for the Lions. Fourth-round pick Devin Taylor would make up the top 5.

It will be interesting to see where Ronnell Lewis, last year’s fourth-round pick, now fits into the rotation come training camp.

The Lions kept only five defensive ends on the Week 1 roster last season.

The team released defensive end Freddie Bishop to make room for Idonije on the 90-man roster.


Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 38 Comments »


38 Responses to “Lions agree to terms with free agent DE Israel Idonije”

  1. By straw walker on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    My guess is Lewis is waved.

  2. By Amir on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    I Love It!!!! Great move Lions! Now a little help on the OL (Winston?) and we are ready for 2013!

  3. By rockbo1955 on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    well now we have some depth for dl! we could use another lb!

  4. By joe B on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    i REALLY LIKE THIS SIGNING ,,A HELL OF A PLAYER, HE’S GOING TO HELP THE LINE TREMENDOUSLY… GO LIONS…

  5. By Jerry harty on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Good deal should help

  6. By martin frazier on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    If this team stays healthy look out NFC and AFC

  7. By Kenny B on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    This is a good signing. Have some good competition along that D line and should help the young guys develop. This D is looking pretty good on paper, can’t wait to see what they look like with pads on.

    Goooooooo Lions!

  8. By SadLion on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Great news.
    Maybe Ronnell moves to OLB?

  9. By LIONGUY2028 on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Awesome depth!!! Love this pick-up, can we say division champs!!! GO LIONS

  10. By Jerry on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    OK, I like this one!!!!!!!! Good add and a good insurance policy for the D ends if it takes a while for our younger kids to develop. Now add a linebacker and a O Tackle.

  11. By eddie Hiller on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    this was a great signing

  12. By Jerry on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Maybe they can move Lewis to OLB if he is fast enough…

  13. By 90lion on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    ‘Izzy’ adds pro-class leadership as well as depth at d-line and special teams! Another mentor for Devin and a (possible?) life-changing role-model for Willie!!!

  14. By herman moore on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    He’ll be good depth, and he has special teams ability.

  15. By Jim on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    A great sign by the Lions but I still think we need to add another Tackle into the mix just to add some depth or what not .

  16. By Theo on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    I agree on Lewis. I would love to see him hanging around our linebackers a bit this offseason. He has some experience there. Great upgrade. Also Hope was a great addition.

  17. By Captain Hindsight on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    ghana – nigeria, instant mentor for ziggy and solid addition to defensive line.

    i am just gonna say i am feeling it, but i have been feeling it for 25+ years.

    Go Lions.

  18. By Nate on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Jerry, I believe that Lewis did play OLB for his first couple of years in college at Oklahoma. Whether or not he is good enough there to make it in the NFL is a whole different question, but I like your idea and say they should give it shot.

  19. By Lou on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Think Captain Hindsight has it right – the fit with Ziggy isn’t coincidental. I’m reminded of Crash Davis mentoring Nuke Laloosh … Ziggy’s about that raw and has about that much talent.

  20. By little on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Can play both inside and outside and has a mean streak a mile long, love this signing, Strong, big, and fast with a nose for the ball. Should fit right in on day one and help our project from BYU learn what it takes to play pro football. Great job Mayhew!

  21. By Shane Fountain on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    thats exactly what they need to do is add Lewis to the OLB roster he played OLB in college and definately ahs the speed and know how to play the positon Idonije was a great sign and addition to the D Line good gawd we are gonna have a great Defense this year top ten for sure !!!…….Watch out NFC North !!!! U got problems now especially Da Bean heads !!! in chicago bahahahahah winning the divison this year

  22. By james on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    ITS A GREAT PICK I REMEMBER WHEN FREE AGENCY STARTED I WANTED HIM TO BE A LION HE’S A BEAST AND HE KNOWS ALL THE BEARS DEFENSIVE PLAYS THE LIONS ARE THE BEST LOVE ZIGGY SUH AND ALL THE LIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. By Gary Manley on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    I keep thinking 53 man roster. Who will be in and who gets left out. Hope its not the youth they picked up!

  24. By 5820LionsFreak on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    All eyes are on the Patriot’s off- the-field problems and the lions pick up 2 more quality defensive players. Good things coming for the Lions…SOON! Well done!!

  25. By phoenixflame1997 on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    Awesome pickup! Suh, Fairley, Idonije, and Ansah is a scary defensive line.

  26. By A.J. Serio on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    Great pickup! Understand that when he was with Chicago, Izzy gained and lost weight depending on the team’s DL needs. Real team player and great mentor for our young guys!

  27. By jacksprat57 on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    Agreed, Jim. OT is now the sole area of concern (although I’m uncertain whether or not the team regards it as such.) This move, given Izzy’s positional versatility, seems to be an acknowledgment that Corey’s not coming back. If only legitimate starting flankers could be obtained the same way.

  28. By Don on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    I cant wait for this season to start!
    It is going to be one of the funnest season’s that we lions fans have had in a Long long time! Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!
    In other words No one gets hurt and everyone plays up to their ability!
    And I still say that the OL is going to be fine! And maybe even better than fine.
    Fox is a Beast and so is Riley! In fact I believe that we are going to be pleasantly surprised with our O-line!
    And this D-fence! Wow man that is what I am really excited about! With the way thing’s are stacking up We should be in control of almost every game.
    Again if we stay healthy! And we should.. I hope ALL of these players stay in Top shape in this last break before the season gets on the way.
    For me the season starts when The Practices begin. Even before the rooster gets cut down. If all these players are serious and stay in shape and learn that playbook like the back of their hand Then it will be a great year for lions fans!
    GO LIONS!

  29. By steve bayray on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    great move especially since he came from a division foe he will be especially fired up to beat the bears and sack crybaby Cutler

  30. By steve bayray on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    Not too worried about the O-Line The youth will pay off and we have a couple vets who should be healthy enough soon to contribute when called upon GO LION!!!!!! Its going to be a better year than last and the future looks bright its up to Stafford now to prove he is a top notch QB year in and year out in number 9 WE BELIEVE!!!!

  31. By steve bayray on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    can we get a better article with Idonije;s comments and why he is excited to be a Lion and how he plans on crushing Cutler LOL

  32. By Mike Barnett on Jun 27, 2013 | Reply

    James, that was the same thing I was going to say. About he know’s all of the Bears Defensive and Offensive plays. Another good move by the Lions. Can somebody say PLAYOFFS!!!!!!

  33. By nighttrain1 on Jun 28, 2013 | Reply

    6-6 275, Stafford called the Lions defensive line trees, so he should fit right in among the trees. This year the Lions should have one hell of a lot of balls batted down and tipped, interceptions from tipped balls will increase a ton, plus the revenge factor against Chicago for letting him go to their division rival is going to be very interesting.

  34. By Jerry harty on Jun 30, 2013 | Reply

    ,m happy I guess ,Freeney for a few bucks more ??

  35. By Raymond on Jul 1, 2013 | Reply

    Can’t wait till they lions get started it will all be interesting there should be many happy Sunday’s.

  36. By Sop on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply

    Great addition. Very professional on and off the field. Class act all round. Going to be a good presence on and off the field. Welcome to the D!

  37. By Michael on Jul 10, 2013 | Reply

    This is an absolute GREAT signing. Our D line should be top notch now. Great depth and finally we should be able to handle the run better and get more pressure on opposing QB’s….8-8 for sure this year and *gasp* dare I say? A playoff possibility?

  38. By twelsh36446 on Jul 10, 2013 | Reply

    lol Herman, he won’t get one snap at special teams.

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