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Lions sign DL Israel Idonije

Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears Getty Images

The Lions have added more depth to a defensive line that already has a good deal of starpower, signing Israel Idonije to a one-year contact, a league source told PFT’s Mike Florio on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Idonije looks like a solid fit for Detroit. He made starts at left end and defensive tackle for Chicago in 2012, and such flexibility will suit him well playing for Lions DL coach Jim Washburn, a proponent of rotating linemen to keep them fresh.

The 32-year-old Idonije notched 48 tackles and 7.5 sacks for the Bears a season ago, making 11 starts. Per Pro Football Focus, he played 514 snaps at end and 212 snaps at tackle in 2012.

The Lions have a different look at defensive end after losing Cliff Avril in free agency and releasing Kyle Vanden Bosch. However, they have restocked the ranks at the position. Ex-Seahawk Jason Jones, like Idonije, can play end and tackle. Also, rookie Ezekiel Ansah, the No. 5 overall pick, is a young rush prospect with promise.

Now, after wrapping up their offseason work, the Lions have brought in Idonije, who strengthens their hand at both line positions.

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46 Responses to “Lions sign DL Israel Idonije”
  1. dgreenfi says: Jun 25, 2013 12:57 PM

    Ezekiel? Israel?

    Can we start calling them the “Old Testament” defense?

    There has to be a Moses out there they can pick up.

  2. aptt15 says: Jun 25, 2013 1:02 PM

    Always will be a Bear in my book.

  3. detroitcityy says: Jun 25, 2013 1:02 PM

    Detroit wins wildcard game then loses their next game.. Calling it now

  4. vertskate900 says: Jun 25, 2013 1:04 PM

    Idonije should also be able to bring some class to that organization.

  5. 4ever85 (aka Butch DeadLift) says: Jun 25, 2013 1:08 PM

    Oh, come on Izzy. Anyone but the Lions!

    He’s a good locker room guy, and pretty effective in spots.

  6. fnc111 says: Jun 25, 2013 1:09 PM

    What a dbag. Zero loyalty in sports. Couldn’t sign with anyone else?

  7. staffordsyear says: Jun 25, 2013 1:10 PM

    Wow this is going to be a much improved D-line this year, nice job on adding some good depth in the offseason front office.

  8. rextraordinaire says: Jun 25, 2013 1:15 PM

    Ireael was born in Nigeria and played in Canada during his college years. I half expect him to settle down in Australia, marry a woman named India and name their first daughter Romania.

  9. mblue24 says: Jun 25, 2013 1:19 PM

    Good pickup!!!

  10. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 25, 2013 1:21 PM

    Good pick up. I like it a lot.

  11. calibear831 says: Jun 25, 2013 1:29 PM

    I thought this guy was going to land in Oakland

  12. slayisland says: Jun 25, 2013 1:30 PM

    great pick up now he can stick it to cutler!!

  13. lionsdraftguy says: Jun 25, 2013 1:43 PM

    I like it.

  14. WatchThis says: Jun 25, 2013 1:46 PM

    Cutler will be the one with grass in his facemask this season.

  15. justintuckrule says: Jun 25, 2013 1:54 PM

    Fun fact about Israel Idonije….

    He’s the only player in NFL history whose initials are I.I.*

    *I have no confirmation that this is actually true but I can’t imagine another player with the same initials.

  16. urlacherbacker says: Jun 25, 2013 2:05 PM

    Hmmmm… we couldnt get him back on the roster Phil? Good Luck Izzy… well, for most of the season (-2)…

  17. malvaren18 says: Jun 25, 2013 2:06 PM

    The lions are looking good

  18. godfatherd says: Jun 25, 2013 2:08 PM

    This is a move I really like. Idonije could really add some flexibility and proven ability to a very young DL.

  19. lks311 says: Jun 25, 2013 2:10 PM

    Finding a two-win patsy is getting harder every day in the old Norris Division.

    The NFC North is beginning to remind me of the NFC East. Looks like there’s going to be four teams between 10-6 and 7-9 all beating the tar out of each other.

    This should be fun.

  20. WatchThis says: Jun 25, 2013 2:10 PM

    Ifeanyichukwu, Israel

  21. 2dmo4 says: Jun 25, 2013 2:30 PM

    Weeeeeeeeee!!!!! I like it.

  22. slickdemetrius says: Jun 25, 2013 2:32 PM

    The one and only “must sign” Bear that I wanted back is now gone. He did everything they asked of him – gained weight for the interior, lost weight when he was needed on the ends. Never caused trouble nor spoke out, gave 100% effort. Always classy.
    Thanks for nothing Trestman and to Izzy, I wish a healthy and successful career.

  23. jprcox says: Jun 25, 2013 2:34 PM

    I think Lions will be good this year – I would take them over Chicago for a wild card. I think Green Bay is in for a bad year, and it will be the Vikings #1, Detroit #2, Green Bay #3, and Chicago #4.

    Anyone who says Green Bay and Chicago didn’t take a step back this offseason is fooling themselves. I think Vikings took a step forward with the draft, and Lions simply underachieved last year. Lions & Vikings question mark is backfield, but I still say those teams are better than GB and Chicago.

    We will see.

  24. kabasaman says: Jun 25, 2013 2:36 PM

    I hate to say it, but Vandenbosh was better…

  25. rickywatts80 says: Jun 25, 2013 2:40 PM

    Idonije is a CLASS ACT, and still a very solid NFL defensive end who can also play tackle. ANY team in the league should be happy to have him as a rotational player who can give you stoutness against the run. Doesn’t always get to the passer, but finishes very well, and ALWAYS plays hard.

    Nice pickup for the Lions.

  26. WatchThis says: Jun 25, 2013 2:44 PM

    No, Vandenbosh was “redder”, not better. I liked him, but…

  27. malekmj says: Jun 25, 2013 2:45 PM

    The Detroit Lions just officially took the teams greatest weakness….DE and turned it into one of the strongest units in the league.

    This is clearly the best D Line the Lions have had in the Schwartz era for a few reasons.

    1. The players actually fit the scheme. I don’t love the wide 9….but if it is going to work…these are the players that will make it happen. DE’s that can get to the QB but collapse the pocket and keep Contain for the best DT tandem in football.
    2. The ability to stop the run
    3. Perfect blend of youth, experience, leadership, and talent
    4. Position and scheme flexability. With this Dline the Lions can literally line up ANY front. They could run an occasional 3-4 look with Suh and Fairley on the ends and

  28. sanityinsd says: Jun 25, 2013 3:05 PM

    @justintuckrule –

    Israel Ifeanyi (SF ’96) and Ikponmwosa Igbinosun (DAL ’12) are the only others and they, too, are defensive linemen.

    Thank you Pro Football Reference.

  29. tformation says: Jun 25, 2013 3:31 PM

    I think Idonije has had a great couple years opposite Peppers who often draws double teams. It will be interesting to see how Idonije does without Peppers, but with Suh.

    Having said that, it’s a solid pickup by the Lions, and a loss for my Bears. Idonije is a great citizen off the field as well.

  30. Laura says: Jun 25, 2013 3:38 PM

    I love the signing, even though it probably means the end of Corey Williams in Detroit, which makes me sad.

    Godspeed, Mr. Williams, and welcome aboard, Mr. Idonije!

  31. jor301 says: Jun 25, 2013 3:40 PM

    Good pickup for the lions im not mad as a bears fan because cory wooton is better in my opinion and we really don’t know how good McClellan is yet.

  32. deltaoracle says: Jun 25, 2013 3:40 PM

    They need a “Moses” not a “Schwartz” for a coach if they want to get a whiff of “The Promised Land.”

  33. larryboodry says: Jun 25, 2013 3:46 PM

    Idonije will be missed by the Bears, he was the one guy (even more than Urlacher) I really wish we had found a way to bring back…Good pick-up by Detroit.

  34. simplesimon1 says: Jun 25, 2013 4:23 PM

    kabasaman says: “I hate to say it, but Vandenbosh was better…”

    Sorry man, but if you can’t even spell his name (By the way it’s Vanden Bosch) then I have a hard time taking your opinion of their talent level at face value…:)

    Also, I’m guessing that it was a joke because only somebody blind would think that Vanden Bosch is better than Idonije, especially after last year.

    I wonder the reasoning for the Lions being able to sign him over the Bears. I’m sure something may come out in the next while. Maybe upset about Lovie Smith being gone or about the treatment of Urlacher. Has to be something though because there is no way the Lions could outbid the Bears with the cap issues. He seems to have really wanted out. Either that or the Bears simply let him walk, which would seem very odd as he was one of the best players on the team last year.

  35. deweyaxewound says: Jun 25, 2013 4:41 PM

    lks311 says: Jun 25, 2013 2:10 PM

    Finding a two-win patsy is getting harder every day in the old Norris Division.

    The NFC North is beginning to remind me of the NFC East. Looks like there’s going to be four teams between 10-6 and 7-9 all beating the tar out of each other.

    This should be fun.
    ____________________________________

    I’m sorry, but the whole idea that the NFC East is this tough (or the “best”) division is COMPLETELY a fabrication of the mainstream media and its obvious East coast bias. It may have been true, at one time, but not so after the last few years.

    The NFC North is easily the better division.

    2012 – North had 3 teams with 10 or more wins, and 2 playoff teams, East had one.

    2011 – North had 2 teams with 10+ wins, and 2 playoff teams, East had NONE, and 1 playoff team.

    2010 – North had 2 teams with 10+ wins, 2 playoff teams, East had 2, and one playoff team.

    2009 – North had 2 10+ teams, so did the East. Both had two teams make the playoffs.

    (non Wildcard) Playoff appearances by division over the same span:

    2009 playoffs – Vikes over Boys in Wildcard, Vikes lose to Saints in Conf. Championship

    2010 playoffs – Packers beat Bears in Conf. Champ, go on to win S.B.

    2011 playoffs – Giants beat Pack in div. round, go on to win S.B.

    2012 playoffs – Pack over Vikes in W.C., Pack loses to 49ers in div.

    Except for the Giants, the East has had almost ZERO representation in the playoffs (after the Wildcard game) over the past few years, while 3 out of 4 teams in the North have been to the Conference Championship game.

    All this isn’t to say the North is BETTER, necessarily (although I probably would say that) — it’s just to say that it’s time to get off the jock of the NFC East. As divisions go, they’re way overrated, and they have been for YEARS, and it’s all because of all the biased East coast media outlet fanboys in NY, Philly, D.C., etc.

  36. jazsrt says: Jun 25, 2013 5:02 PM

    jprcox says:
    Jun 25, 2013 2:34 PM
    I think Lions will be good this year – I would take them over Chicago for a wild card. I think Green Bay is in for a bad year, and it will be the Vikings #1, Detroit #2, Green Bay #3, and Chicago #4.

    Anyone who says Green Bay and Chicago didn’t take a step back this offseason is fooling themselves. I think Vikings took a step forward with the draft, and Lions simply underachieved last year. Lions & Vikings question mark is backfield, but I still say those teams are better than GB and Chicago.

    We will see.

    -“BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

    -Everyone else in the NFC North, and the entire NFL for that matter.

  37. lionsmark09 says: Jun 25, 2013 5:03 PM

    I figure they will list him as a DT because they only have 3 (real players) right now. They have a few young guys (Devin Taylor) they want to keep and I can’t imagine them giving up on R. Lewis yet (4th Rd Pick). He will be the new Corey Williams who was great against the run.

  38. larryboodry says: Jun 25, 2013 5:12 PM

    @jazsrt:

    Thank you.

  39. Ponsonby_Britt says: Jun 25, 2013 5:16 PM

    “Can we start calling them the “Old Testament” defense?”

    Depends on if it takes 40 years to win a SB

  40. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Jun 25, 2013 5:35 PM

    A true class act who will benefit the team and community by being a MAN. Those Detroit draft picks better learn quickly from such a fine example.

    Thanks for your time with Da Bears. Dude would put on then drop weight like a beast after he was asked to do both. Never complained, just worked harder than his competition. Good luck in your other 14 games.

  41. steveb9995 says: Jun 25, 2013 6:38 PM

    kabasaman says: “I hate to say it, but Vandenbosh was better…”
    He was better five years ago, but not last season–PFF graded him the worst starting DE in the league. Great team leader, great example for the younger guys, and a model citizen off the field, but his football days are over.

  42. butera1 says: Jun 26, 2013 1:02 PM

    As a Bears fan… SEE YA!
    Detroit, enjoy the essence mediocrity!

  43. twelsh36446 says: Jun 27, 2013 11:17 AM

    I see a bunch of bear fans don’t like him coming to the D. lmao

  44. larryboodry says: Jun 27, 2013 1:44 PM

    slayisland says: Jun 25, 2013 1:30 PM

    “great pick up now he can stick it to cutler!!”

    In his career Jay is 7-2 vs. the kitties, with 12 TDs and just 1 INT…Don’t see that changing any in 2013.

  45. larryboodry says: Jun 27, 2013 2:02 PM

    twelsh36446 says: Jun 27, 2013 11:17 AM

    “I see a bunch of bear fans don’t like him coming to the D. lmao”

    While I am sorry to see Izzy go, I am not upset at his choosing Detroit, and in my previous post I praised the Lions for a nice pick-up…His presence will not stop our new-look offense, nor will it prevent 2 losses to the Bears…See how much laughing you do then.

    Go Bears!

  46. wnstonchill says: Jun 28, 2013 4:14 PM

    Izzy is a complete class act and was solid in every game for the Bears. I wish him all the success he deserves! (14 games out of the 16 that is!)

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