Lions add S Chris Hope, release WR Brian Robiskie
Hope spent last season in Atlanta, playing 16 games and making 4 starts in a reserve role for the Falcons. He finished the 2012 season with 26 tackles and even appeared in both of the Falcons’ playoffs contests.
Before that, Hope had a six-year stint with the Tennessee Titans (2006-2011), where he also he made his only career Pro Bowl in 2008. Prior to signing as a free agent with the Titans, Hope spent the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh after he was drafted out of Florida State in the third-round of the 2002 NFL draft. Hope was even the Steelers’ starting safety in 2005 leading up to their Super Bowl XL win at the end of the season.
Hope, who is entering his 12th season in the league, has started 113 of 163 games during his career with the Steelers, Titans and Falcons. The Florida State product amassed 552 tackles, four sacks, 20 interceptions, 50 passes defended, four forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and a touchdown over his entire NFL career.
The Lions had been looking for help at one of the safety spot with questions marks in the secondary this offseason. The team’s longtime starting safety Louis Delmas has been limited with a knee injury during the Lions’ spring workouts. Over the past two years, Delmas missed 13 games while undergoing two knee surgery. With no current prognosis on the current injury there’s no telling when he will be back and at what capacity.
Don Carey has filled in for Delmas during practices with first-team defense, opposite safety Glover Quin, all spring. Safeties Amari Spievey and Ricardo Silva also have starting experience. But the Lions have been hoping to add veteran presence to their secondary with the addition of Hope while offering some security to the injury concerns of Delmas. Moreover, Hope should be familiar with the Detroit Lions’ defense after playing under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz for three seasons (2005-2007) of his stint in Tennessee.
Other safeties on the Lions’ offseason roster include Tyrell Johnson, John Wendling and Martavius Neloms.
Meanwhile Brian Robiskie, who was already re-signed after being initially released this offseason is on his way out of Detroit. The 25-year-old Robiskie had four receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown in six games for the Lions last season. He also caught 39 passes for 441 yards with three touchdowns during his first-three seasons in the league with the Cleveland Browns (2009-2011).