The Detroit Lions had a need for a new tight end after the abrupt retirement of Josh Hill, and the player they chose to fill the void was none othre than former friend Darren Fells.
Wednesday, the Lions acted quickly to sign Fells and get him in the mix for 2021 following the loss of Hill. That move was a solid one for the team given Fells and the Lions know each other well from their time together during the 2017 season.
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Detroit revealed the news on Wednesday afternoon about the signing.
#Lions have signed free agent TE Darren Fells.
📰 https://t.co/TsYdUTAFC4 pic.twitter.com/RrzFucGrCo
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 5, 2021
The Lions got lucky that Fells was on the market to help solve their need. He’s been a productive tight end the last few seasons, so Detroit getting him in the mix to play a veteran role in the room is a very good score for the team given the tough hand they were dealt given Hill’s departure.
Fells can come in the mix and continue to serve as a good mentor for T.J. Hockenson as well as a sneaky productive member of the roster who can catch some passes and block too. For an emergency signing on May 5, that’s pretty good.
Fells’ Stats and Highlights
Fells has has a solid run in the NFL, and at 35, might be far from done in terms of his own career after the numbers he has been putting up recently. He had a solid three-year run with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the Lions for a season, signed with the Cleveland Browns for 2018 and then landed in Houston, where he’s been the last two seasons. Fells has put up 21 touchdowns and 1,483 receiving yards in his career. Interestingly, half of those scores came the last two seasons when he played with the Texans. In Detroit, Fells put up 177 yards and 3 scores in 2017.
Here’s a look at some of Fells’s best work in Houston recently:
It’s obvious to see how Fells could benefit a young Detroit offense and Jared Goff in 2021.
Update on Lions Tight End Depth
This offseason, there’s been tons of moving parts for Detroit at tight end. The team signed Josh Hill, which was a key move for the Lions given the fact that the team doesn’t have much in the form of depth. Jesse James was quickly released earlier this offseason. T.J. Hockenson is entrenched on the roster, but beyond that, there isn’t much at all. Hunter Bryant was injured much of last season which could have played a role in his perhaps falling out of favor with the new staff, and the team also signed Alize Mack early in free agency, but he doesn’t have any NFL production to rely on at this point in time.
Detroit could look at Fells as an interesting addition to a tight end room that could use a bit more depth for the 2021 season. It’s likely the team will land him on a team-friendly, short-term deal.
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