By: Will Burchfield
Free agency has yet to officially begin, but the Lions have already addressed two of their most pressing needs.
Hours after agreeing to a deal with coveted right tackle Ricky Wagner on Wednesday afternoon, they came to terms on a one-year contract with linebacker Paul Worrilow. The 26-year-old spent his first four NFL seasons with the Falcons.
Teams can’t officially sign free agents until 4 p.m. on Thursday.
The Lions had issues at linebacker throughout last season. DeAndre Levy, hampered by knee and hamstring injuries, played in just five games, and Tahir Whitehead, in his first full season at middle linebacker, was inconsistent at best.
The remaining core of Antwione Williams, Thurston Armbrister, Josh Bynes and Jon Bostic offered little in the way of game-to-game production. The former two will return, while the latter two are set to become free agents.
Worrilow will bring experience and athleticism to a positional group that sorely needs both.
Signed as a free agent out of Delaware in 2013, Worrilow was a starter for most of his first three seasons in Atlanta. He racked up a team-leading 143 tackles in 2014. His playing time declined last season after the Falcons selected two linebackers in the 2016 draft.