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Lions sign former Bucs veteran DE Robert Ayers

Florida Football Insiders

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With the Lions pass rush struggling throughout preseason, it was obvious that they needed some help. Monday, they elected to sign former Buccaneers defensive end Robert Ayers.

The Lions announced the signing early Monday afternoon:

Ayers, who will turn 33 years old next week, has been without a team since the Bucs released him in March on the eve of free agency.

After beginning his career as #1 pick in Denver, where he registered 12 sacks in five seasons, Ayers signed with the Giants next. In two years in New York, he bettered his Denver total with 14 quarterback takedowns.

That’s why the Bucs were very interested in bringing him to them via free agency in 2016.

However, Ayers battled a high ankle sprain in year one that cost him four games, but still tallied 6.5 sacks. Then, his and the Bucs defensive line production both plummeted, when Ayers had just two sacks and Tampa Bay had the fewest in the NFL in 2017, as the Bucs went 5-11. He also missed four games with concussion and shoulder problems a year ago.

That made him expendable, especially, when the Bucs traded for Jason Pierre Paul and signed Vinny Curry from the Eagles.

Ayers had visited a couple of teams in the offseason and was waiting for a situation to present itself. He signed a one year contract with Detroit.

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