Lions sign three to one-year deals

Pro Football Weekly
Lions re-sign OT Hilliard
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Lions re-sign OT Hilliard

Updated March 22, 2012 @ 8:05 p.m. ET

The Lions hit the free-agent market hard on Thursday, agreeing to terms with three players.

The team signed DE Everette Brown, LB Ashlee Palmer and TE Will Heller, all to one-year deals. 

Brown, a former second-round pick of the Panthers, played for the Chargers last season after two years with Carolina. San Diego released him March 13. He has played in 31 career games and has recorded six sacks, having failed to fulfill his teams' expectations.

Palmer is a re-signing, having spent the past two seasons in Detroit. As a restricted free agent, the team hadn't given him a minimum tender or qualifying offer, so he became an unrestricted free agent March 13. He has 87 career tackles and has started seven games during his three-year career.

Heller, too, will return, having played for the Lions since 2009. The team had released him March 12 in a cap-related move. Primarily a blocking tight end, Heller has 75 career receptions for 632 yards and 11 TDs in nine seasons. 

On Thursday the Lions hosted Bears unrestricted free-agent CB Corey Graham, who excels on special teams.

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