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Lions re-sign OT Backus, QB Hill

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Posted March 17, 2012 @ 9:24 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

Updated March 17, 2012 @ 9:55 p.m. ET

The Lions have re-signed two of their unrestricted free agents, OLT Jeff Backus and backup QB Shaun Hill, according to multiple sources. Both signed two-year contracts, and according to NFL Network, citing a league source, Backus' deal totals $10 million.

Backus is an 11-year veteran who has started every game during his career, all of which has been spent in Detroit. Last season Backus allowed 8.5 sacks, according to STATS LLC, and was penalized seven times.

Hill has backed up Matthew Stafford for two years, getting 10 starts in 2010 when Stafford was injured. Last season the 10-year veteran attempted only three passes as Stafford managed to stay healthy all season.

The Lions hosted former Chargers OLT Marcus McNeill earlier in the week, but he left without a contract. Free-agent OT Eric Winston was scheduled to visit the team Monday, but he signed with Kansas City earlier today.

The way we see it

Although people have been speculating about the Lions replacing Backus for quite some time, he continues to do an adequate job at the all-important OLT position. He suffered a torn biceps in the wild-card loss at New Orleans and underwent surgery Jan. 9, so he could miss much of the offseason. Winston's signing with the Chiefs may have convinced the Lions to bring back Backus.

Hill is considered one of the top backup quarterbacks in the league, fully capable of handling a starting role for several games. With Drew Stanton having left for the Jets, Hill is currently the Lions' only backup for Stafford, who has been injury-prone.

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