NFL: Lions get DT Williams, DE Vanden Bosch
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Corey Williams is back at his favorite position, back in his favorite division and might get a chance to achieve one of his career goals.
The veteran defensive tackle was traded from Cleveland to Detroit on Friday in a deal that also involved a pair of late-round draft picks.
“I’m happy to be playing in the NFC North, because this is where I started,” said Williams, who began his career with Green Bay and last season chafed in Cleveland’s 3-4 defensive alignment. “The best part is that I’ll be playing defensive tackle in a 4-3 again. That’s the system where I can best show my ability.”
The Lions, one of the worst teams in the NFL, added another new face to the defensive line, agreeing to a four-year deal with defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch after coach Jim Schwartz waited outside Vanden Bosch’s Nashville, Tenn., home when free agency began at midnight.
That deal reportedly is $26 million with $10 million due in the first year for the 31-year-old defensive end. Agent Tony Agnone did not return messages left by The Associated Press and the Lions declined comment, though Schwartz confirmed the signing to CNNSI.com.
A nine-year veteran, Vanden Bosch spent the past five seasons with the Titans, getting all of his 43› career sacks. The Lions, who have lost an NFL-record 30 games the past two seasons and haven’t had a winning record in a decade, are counting on him and Williams to revive the team’s moribund pass rush.
“Kyle’s got a lot left in the tank,” Williams said. “He’s a high-motor guy, and that’s exactly what this team needs to get things going again.”
For Williams, Detroit sent a fifth-round pick in April’s draft to the Browns in exchange for the tackle and a seventh-round choice, leaving the Browns with 11 picks this year — including nine in the first five rounds.
Williams was drafted by Green Bay in 2004 and played his first four seasons with the Packers before being traded to Cleveland for a second-round pick in 2008. Williams made 18 starts in two seasons for Cleveland, but wasn’t happy in coach Eric Mangini’s 3-4 defense last year.
“I never felt comfortable at end — I like it a lot more inside,” he said. “Everything happens a lot quicker at tackle — it is less about thinking and more about reacting.”
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew called Williams a great addition.
“He’s a great pass rusher, and that’s an area we really struggled in last season,” he said.
The move back into the NFC North has Williams hoping that Brett Favre will stay with the Minnesota Vikings for at least one more season.
“I’ve never had a chance to sack Brett,” Williams said of his former teammate. “He’s a great quarterback, and I’ve always wanted a shot at him.”
Media reports also had the Lions agreeing to terms with Seattle wide receiver Nate Burleson, but the team would not comment, and his agent, Ken Sarnoff, did not return a message left by the AP.