Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy put together outstanding seasons in both 2013 and 2014 to become a leader of the defense in Detroit and convince the team to sign him to a five-year contract extension before the 2015 season.
Things haven’t gone all that well since then. Levy hurt his hip in 2015, ending his season after only 17 snaps, and then missed 11 games last year with a knee injury. General Manager Bob Quinn said that those absences haven’t caused the Lions to decide that they can move forward without Levy, but didn’t rule out a change of heart about Levy’s spot on the team.
“DeAndre had a challenging year through the injuries, so it’s something that he worked extremely hard, behind the scenes, to kind of get back,” Quinn said, via the Detroit Free Press. “It was just a couple of things that kept him out of the lineup. So, as of today, I feel like he’ll be back next year, and we’ll talk about the contract if it ever comes up. But right now, we have nothing to report.”
Levy is set to make a base salary of $5.75 million and count $8.225 million against the cap. The Lions wouldn’t save much room under the cap unless they designate Levy as a post-June 1 cut, which would leave them unable to use the cap space during the free agency period.
They also don’t have much experience at linebacker, so the Lions have reasons to continue hoping that Levy’s injury luck will be better in 2017 than it has been the last two years.