Lions officially add DE Trey Flowers, CB Justin Coleman and TE Jesse James

Posted at 4:33 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 16:33:05-04

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Lions have signed a trio of free agents to address pressing needs: defensive end Trey Flowers, cornerback Justin Coleman and tight end Jesse James.

The Lions introduced each player at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Detroit desperately needed an edge rusher to replace Ziggy Ansah, who it likely will not re-sign after the oft-injured player was given the franchise tag last season.

Like a lot of Lions, Flowers and Coleman have ties to the New England Patriots. Flowers had a career-high 7 1/2 sacks last season for the Super Bowl champions and 21 over the last three years in New England. The Patriots drafted him in the fourth round out of Arkansas in 2015.

Coleman started his career in New England in 2015, when Lions general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia worked for the Patriots. He became a standout nickel cornerback over the last two seasons in Seattle. Coleman has three career interceptions, returning two for scores. Nevin Lawson, who was cut by Detroit on Monday, did not have an interception in 54 starts and 62 games over five seasons with the Lions.

James had 120 receptions for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Lions were looking to upgrade their options at tight end a year after releasing Eric Ebron.