Lions tender Kerry Hyder, two other exclusive rights free agents

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The Lions won’t be letting their leading sacker from the 2016 season leave for another club.

The team announced on Tuesday that they have tendered defensive end Kerry Hyder as an exclusive rights free agent. The tender blocks Hyder from negotiating with other clubs and all but assures he’ll be back in Detroit next year as he won’t be able to play anywhere else.

Hyder closed the preseason with three sacks in the final exhibition contest and then had eight sacks for the Lions during the regular season to help them on their way to the playoffs. The team would likely prefer to see Ziggy Ansah back on the top of that metric in 2017, but Hyder’s production and the league-minimum price tag made bringing him back as easy a choice as a team could make this offseason.

The Lions also tendered defensive end Brandon Copeland and wide receiver T.J. Jones in the same category as they set up their roster heading into the new league year.