The Detroit Lions secure a historic extension deal with Jalen Reeves-Maybin, a standout in special teams

The Detroit Lions went into the offseason determined to lock some of their key players up on long-term contracts. On Monday, they took care of one of their best.

The Lions signed special teams ace Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a two-year extension Monday. NFL Network reported the deal includes a $2.5 million signing bonus and has a maximum value of $8 million, making Reeves-Maybin the highest-paid core special teams player in NFL history.

A fourth-round pick in 2017, Reeves-Maybin earned second-team All-Pro honors last season, when he tied for the NFL lead with 14 special teams tackles.

He also converted two fake punts, one on a 31-yard pass to Khalil Dorsey and one on a 3-yard run, and played a rotational role at linebacker in obvious passing situations. Reeves-Maybin had 20 defensive tackles and one sack last season and was elected to his first Pro Bowl.

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Lions general manager Brad Holmes indicated Monday in an interview on WXYT-FM (97.1 in Detroit) the Lions would not sway from their plan to draft, develop, and re-sign their own players, despite being flush with salary cap space this spring.

“We’ve kind of kept it pretty strategic and selective in terms of the resources that we’ve had,” Holmes said. “But it’s very subjective what you deem a bigger fish (to chase in free agency). I think I have an idea because it’s the quote-unquote name, but again, it’s going to be the same approach that we’ve always had.”

The Lions previously re-signed kicker Michael Badgley to a one-year deal — Badgley and Reeves-Maybin are represented by the same agent, Brian McLaughlin — but still have 18 players scheduled to be unrestricted free agents when the 2024 league year opens March 13.

The team also is expected to try and sign quarterback Jared Goff and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to long-term extensions this offseason.

Reeves-Maybin has spent six of his seven NFL seasons in Detroit. He left the team for a free-agent deal with the Houston Texans in 2022 before returning on a one-year deal last spring.

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