Lions in the market for defensive tackle help

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The Lions lost Haloti Ngata to the Eagles early in free agency and they’re expected to look at some potential reinforcements for the interior of their defensive line in the near future.

Field Yates of ESPN reports that former Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and former Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch are expected to visit with the team. Both players were released by their former teams this month. In addition, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the team is working on a deal with Ricky Jean Francois.

Branch won’t have to fill Lions head coach Matt Patricia in on what he’s been up to over the last four years because both men were in New England. In addition to reuniting with Patricia, landing in Detroit would bring Branch back to Michigan as he went to college at the University of Michigan.

Jean Francois would be another familiar face for Patricia as he played for the Patriots last season.

Hankins, who was released by the Colts a year into the three-year deal he signed in 2017, visited with the Redskins this week. He had 44 tackles and two sacks in 15 games for Indianapolis.

Yates adds that former Titans defensive tackle Sylvester Williams is also on Detroit’s radar and it seems likely that we’ll be hearing about an addition to the Lions defense sooner or later.