The Lions are hiring Tony Carter as a defensive assistant, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Carter, who was last on a roster in 2016 with the Saints, has never coached in the NFL.
He played two games for the Patriots in 2010 when Lions coach Matt Patricia was New England’s linebackers coach.
Carter, 33, played five seasons with the Broncos, one with the Colts and one with the Patriots.
He did not play a down in 2016, but he was on the Saints’ roster before they cut him Oct. 18, 2016.
Carter played 45 career games, with three starts, and made 49 tackles, three interceptions and five fumble recoveries.