I know that my buddy Rob posted a story about the Lions big free agent signings a few days ago, but the Lions are not messing around this off-season. Yesterday the team resigned free agent safety Louis Delmas. Delmas had looked into San Fransisco and St. Louis as possible options. He signed a 2 year, 9.5 million dollar deal and will be on the field alongside newly acquired safety Glover Quinn. The pair should be a solid pair for the Lions in the secondary.
With that said, the Lions did lose offensive tackle Jeff Backus. Backus retired officially this past Thursday after 12 NFL seasons, which all of them were with the Lions. Backus was picked in the first round of the 2001 draft by the Lions out of the University of Michigan. According to Mlive.com, Backus had one year left on his contract but decided to call it quits anyways. Here is what Tom Lewand said about Backus.
“He’s been a fixture on Saturday’s or Sunday’s in the fall in Michigan for almost half his life. We have nothing but the greatest amount of respect for him and what he’s done for this organization as a player and as a person. He’s one of the truly great individuals to have walked through the doors of this franchise. We look forward to him continuing to walk through those doors in retirement.”
Here is part of Backus’s official statement as well:
“I want to thank the Ford Family and the Detroit Lions for allowing me the privilege to represent the city of Detroit and play in the National Football League for the last 12 years. I also want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for all their support over the years.
“To the fans of Detroit, I thank you for the support and loyalty you have shown the Lions and myself. You deserve a winner.”
Even though Backus has been the butt of jokes by all Lions fans over his twelve years here. But I must say that he was a decent tackle and provided the Lions with stability at the left tackle spot. Riley Reiff will get the opportunity to take over Backus’s place. However, the Lions also lost tackle Gosder Cherilus so they will need another offensive tackle. I’m not sure if they will risk drafting one or signing one in free agency.
In the end though, all I know is the left tackle spot won’t be the same with #76 being gone. Thank you Jeff for your time as a Detroit Lion.