Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije has taken his time making a decision in NFL free agency but has ultimately elected to stay in the NFC North and join the Detroit Lions.
ProFootballTalk had the scoop on Twitter:
Lions sign DL Israel Idonije to one-year deal, per league source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 25, 2013
Idonije spent nine years in Chicago where he was quietly a quality pass-rusher and every-down player thanks to his strength against the run. Last year he recorded seven sacks and recorded five or more the past three seasons. The Bears had stated they wanted Idonije back but the front office seemed focused on other areas.
Idonije brings a solid veteran presence to the Lions’ 4-3 front. He joins the likes of Jason Jones and rookie Ziggy Ansah to give the team one of the deepest defensive line rotations in league, primarily thanks to defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
It’s hard to tell if Idonije will act as a starter, but regardless the Lions now have interchangeable pieces on the line that can come in and keep the pressure on opposing offensive lines. It’s a critical element with the defensive backfield still having its fair share of troubles last season.
Idonije is a quiet signing, but one that could make all the difference for the unit as a whole next year.
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