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Two-Ton Toniu Returns

Lost in the buzz regarding the arrival of linebacker Larry Foote in Detroit was the dusting off of a once-promising offensive lineman who ate his way out of the league.
The Lions have signed Two-Ton Toniu Fonoti.
He has spent two full seasons out of the game, having last stretched to its limits the aqua and coral uniform of the Dolphins.  Prior to that, he spent a year with the Vikings and four with the Chargers.
Entering the league in 2002, Fonoti has had only two productive seasons.  He started 14 games in his rookie year and 16 in his third year.  But his size (when not on the wrong side of 350), his potential, and a mean streak longer than the hair that hangs well out of his helmet continued to prompt teams to take a chance on him.
In the 2007 offseason, he practiced with the Falcons, but didn’t make the final roster.  Ditto in Carolina last year.
In Detroit, it could be his last chance to make it — and arguably his best, given the general condition of the offensive line.
The Lions also have added defensive end Eric Hicks, who was extensive experience with Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham in Kansas City.  The ten-year veteran played nine years for the Chiefs, and one with the Jets. 
From 1999 through 2005, Hicks was a full-time start for the Chiefs.  He assumed reserve status in 2006, and then played in eleven games with no starts for the Jets in 2007.  He was out of football last year.

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9 Responses to “Two-Ton Toniu Returns”
  1. RobJH says: May 6, 2009 9:16 AM

    This guy should try out as an NT. He could be another Ted Washington, Keith Traylor, Gilbert Brown -type.

  2. Rossy P says: May 6, 2009 9:17 AM

    wow are they down & out. they sign this bum? Man its great being a GB fan!

  3. kevmerica says: May 6, 2009 9:28 AM

    At least he wasn’t completely out of the league- he worked his ass off (haha) the last 2 summers
    Fonoti signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an unrestricted free agent on March 14, 2007 and released him on August 4, 2007.
    Fonoti signed with the Carolina Panthers on March 25, 2008 and relased on August 30, 2008.

  4. ty@thelionsinwinter says: May 6, 2009 9:32 AM

    Back in ’02, I was rooting like crazy for the Lions to draft Toniu Fonoti, to reunite him with C Dominic Raiola and take some heat off of young, slightly undersized LT Jeff Backus. They drafted Kalimba Edwards instead . . . I guess neither pick really worked out. Still, if the rumors that Fonoti has gotten his weight back under control are true, he’ll be a perfect addition. The Lions have needed someone who can blow open holes in the run game between Backus and Raiola since . . . well, since 2002.
    Ty @ The Lions in Winter

  5. MakingitRain says: May 6, 2009 10:22 AM

    He had his weight down last year in the Panthers camp. He still didn’t show much in the preason games.

  6. barryandcalvin2bestplayersever says: May 6, 2009 10:36 AM

    He’s gonna maul people. We’re really puttin the pieces together now. Looks to me like we’re gonna run away with the division and make a super bowl run!!!

  7. dino says: May 6, 2009 10:53 AM

    not quite .. i’d love to see it but you have to applaud the moves… 6 wins? The d is definitely back in detroit…. at least improved

  8. cover2blitz0 says: May 6, 2009 7:05 PM

    lions seem to be making some moves and nice additions this offseason.. heres to the success of Fonoti and mike williams two former 02 oline draft picks

  9. litzsout619 says: May 8, 2009 8:45 AM

    You have to feel bad for detroit and all the dirt there. Lets hope they win at least 1 game this yr. People dont mention that 2 tony Fonoti was also a head case who has a depresssion problem. He is all yours Detroit. Straight to mental ward/superbowl, Right!

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