Lions tender three exclusive-rights free agents, RFA Jason Fox
While Shaun Chupas was likely to be tendered, according to last weeks’ reports, Ricardo Silvas and Kris Durham’s contracts are a bit of shakeup from what was previously expected off team by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline indicating the official start of the NFL free agency. However, Kris Durham was under debate since he joined active roster for the final four games of the 2012 season. While, Ricardo Silva also strengthened his position by starting six games for the Detroit Lions last season.
Since all three players have less than three NFL seasons under their belt (hence the use of the exclusive-rights free agent), they will receive a one-year veteran’s minimum contract with no expectations of a guaranteed salary.
Meanwhile, Jason Fox will earn $1.3 million in 2013 after the Detroit Lions placed the tender on him.
Selected in the fourth-round of the 2010 draft by the Detroit Lions, Jason Fox is still an unproven player with a history of injuries. Jason Fox struggled through injuries during his initial two NFL seasons, but despite being sidelined with a knee injury during last year’s minicamp, he ended last season relatively healthy.
Other teams could sign Jason Fox, but the Detroit Lions will then receive a fourth-round draft pick in return. However, Jason Fox isn’t expected to generate a lot of interest from other teams and he has an opportunity to compete for a starting position this offseason. The Detroit Lions will likely lose right tackle Gosder Cherilus as a free agent, and Jason Fox could replace him. Or else, left tackle Jeff Backus, who is still under contract cold still become a cap causality in the Detroit Lions’ attempt to clear some cap space, hence launching another opportunity for Jason Fox. Moreover, the team has complete confidence in the 24-year-olf Jason Fox and his potential step-up at the position.
"We're prepared for just about anything as far as turnover on the offensive line, or turnover anywhere," said Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I think that we drafted on the offensive line, last year with Riley Reiff, a couple of years before that with Jason Fox. We've developed those guys, and if we got to plug them in, we're prepared to do it.”