LIONS RE-SIGN DE JARED DEVRIES AND LB LEVAR WOODS; SIGN UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT LB PARIS LENON
Allen Park, Mich.- The Detroit Lions announced today that they have re-signed DE Jared DeVries to a five-year deal, LB LeVar Woods to a one-year deal and have also signed unrestricted free agent LB Paris Lenon to a three-year deal. Additional contract terms were not disclosed.
DeVries (6-4, 280) enters his eighth season with the Lions and was originally drafted by Detroit in the third round (70th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. His 2005 season was highlighted by his first career multiple sack game at Cleveland (10/23) and his second-career blocked field goal attempt at Green Bay (12/11). DeVries continues to be a vital part of the team's rotation on the defensive line.
In 2004, DeVries set a career-high with 3.0 sacks, including a sack for a 6-yard loss while forcing a Michael Vick fumble in the final minute to preserve a victory at Atlanta (10/10). He was also a key member of Detroit's 'wedge' on kick returns, which helped clear the way for All-Pro kick returner Eddie Drummond, who finished the season ranked second in the NFL in kickoff returns.
DeVries opened the 2003 season with his second career sack when he pulled down Cardianls' QB Jeff Blake, also forcing a fumble on the play, in opener vs. Arizona. He had his first career sack that season against Chicago (11/9/03) when he blocked what would have been a go-ahead field goal by Paul Edinger. Prior to the season, DeVries signed a three-year deal March 6, 2003.
The 2002 season was cut short for DeVries due to a foot injury. He registered 17 tackles (five solo) and a sack before being placed on the reserve/injured list on December 10. In 2001, DeVries was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on August 28 due to a blood clot suffered in an off-season workout. He was removed from the PUP list on October 27 and finished the season playing in 11 games and recording 20 tackles (six solo).
DeVries' had one of his strongest seasons with the Lions in 2000 when he played in 15 games and finished with 35 tackles (18 solo), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He played in only two games as a rookie due to a foot injury.
As a standout at the University of Iowa, DeVries set the school's career sack record with 43 career sacks and had 79 tackles for a loss. DeVries was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore, junior and senior (1996-98).
Lenon (6-2, 240) joins the Lions after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers. He finished 2005 with a career-high 79 tackles (47 solo) after starting a career-high 12 games (seven at SLB; five at WLB). Lenon has played in 64 consecutive games since joining the Packers' active roster in 2002.
In 2004, Lenon started his first career game as the fourth linebacker when the Packers defense opened in a 3-4 alignment in the opener at Carolina (9/13), but broke his thumb. He played the next five games with a cast but still contributed on defense and special teams.
While Lenon has been a reliable reserve linebacker, he was one of Green Bay's top special teams players in his first two seasons on their active roster. He led the team with 22 special teams tackles in 2002 and tied for second with 16 special teams tackles in 2003.
Prior to the 2002 season Lenon was allocated by the Packers to NFL Europe where he played and started all 10 games for the Amsterdam Admirals. He led the team with 50 tackles and had two interceptions and deflected seven passes.
Before initially signing with Green Bay in 2001, Lenon played for the XFL's Memphis Maniax who were led by current Lions wide receivers coach Kippy Brown (head coach). He had 14 tackles in four games with the Maniax. Lenon finished the 2001 season on the Packers' practice squad.
As a collegian at the University of Richmond, Lenon was a three-year starter and four-year letterman. He registered 320 tackles, including 12 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 10 pass defenses and an interception. He played under current Detroit defensive line coach Joe Cullen (defensive coordinator) for two of his seasons with the Spiders and was second on the team in tackles both seasons (1997-98).
Lenon originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers April 26, 2000 but was waived June 9.
Woods (6-3, 245) will enter his second season with Detroit after joining the Lions half-way through last season. He started the final three games of the 2005 season at middle linebacker due to injuries. In his first start for Detroit against Cincinnati (12/18), Woods had a career-high 10 tackles (six solo) and a sack.
Before joining the Lions, Woods spent his first four NFL seasons as a reserve linebacker for Arizona. He caught on with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2001 and played in 15 games as a rookie, finishing his first season with 11 tackles (six solo). Woods set a career-high with 44 tackles in 2002 and led the team with 17 special teams tackles in 2003. In 2004 he had 20 tackles (12 solo) and 12 special teams tackles.
Woods was a two-year starter (1999-2000) for Iowa and had 165 career tackles, including 18 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks. As a senior with the Hawkeyes, he was selected All-Big Ten Conference (second team) in addition to being a team captain and recipient of the Hayden Fry Extra Heartbeat Award.