Louis Delmas re-signs with Detroit Lions

Friday March 15th, 2013

Louis Delmas Louis Delmas had 28 tackles in eight games for the Lions last season. (Jerry Lai/US PRESSWIRE)

The Detroit secondary has been a massive weakness for several seasons now. Suddenly, thanks to a rash of moves during the first week of free agency, the Lions might have some reasons for optimism.

The latest: Louis Delmas opted Friday to re-sign with the Lions after reportedly visiting the 49ers earlier this week. Delmas will rejoin a safety crew that includes new Lion Glover Quin and the recently re-signed Amari Spievey. Detroit also managed to lock up No. 1 cornerback Chris Houston with a multi-year deal.

Delmas has been unable to stay healthy during his NFL career -- he missed eight games last season, five in 2011 and one each in 2009 and '10. When he is on the field, however, he can be a difference-maker and a potential Quin-Delmas pairing deep could bolster the Lions' defense significantly.

The market for Delmas was a hard one to figure, since his potential as an aggressive and hard-hitting young safety did not erase the questions about his health. But the reported two-year deal Detroit handed Delmas likely included a lowered salary and performance-based incentives.

In other words, assuming the Lions were able to get this done in a way that puts the onus on Delmas to avoid injury and play well, it could be a boon.

Grade: B-minus. The success or failure of this move comes down to Delmas' health. The Lions did not want to lose him as a free agent, because he's been one of their best defenders over multiple seasons. Too often, though, he's been relegated to standing on the sideline. I bumped this grade down after the numbers on it were revealed -- two years at a little more than $9 million. That's a lot of money to commit to an injury-prone player.

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