Lions sign Isaiah Ekejiuba, special teams standout

The Detroit Lions picked up a potential core special teams player this afternoon when they signed veteran linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba to a two-year contract.

Ekejiuba was surprisingly released by the Oakland Raiders earlier this month after serving as one of their standout special teams players the last few seasons. He was an AFC Pro Bowl alternate following the 2008 season, and signed a contract extension that paid him $2.45 million last year in Oakland.

Terms of the deal negotiated by agent Ed Wasielewski were not available. Ekejiuba visited the Lions earlier this week and had a free-agent visit with the Seattle Seahawks last week. The Cleveland Browns were also known to be interested.

The Lions have been one of the worst teams in the league on special teams and coach Jim Schwartz hired Danny Crossman to run the unit this season. The change there wipes the slate clean and gives Ekejiuba even footing in his bid for a job even though he’s signed with only a week to go before camp begins. Certainly the Raiders didn’t do him any favors with the timing of his release, but he may have just found a good landing spot.

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