Willie Young DL CHI 4 Months

Bears signed DE Willie Young, formerly of the Lions, to a three-year, $9 million contract.

Young get $3.95 million guaranteed. Renovating the defensive line was GM Phil Emery's focus heading into free agency, and he's replaced DEs Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton with Lamarr Houston and Young. 28-year-old Young amassed 48 quarterback hurries in Detroit last season. He should play a lot of left end.

Willie Young DL CHI 4 Months

Free agent DE Willie Young is visiting the Jaguars.

The Lions were high on Young the past few seasons, but he registered just six sacks across his last 46 games. He started 15 games mostly at left end last season and generated an impressive 48 hurries, which was third-most among 4-3 ends. Disruption is production. Young could flourish under coach Gus Bradley.

Willie Young DL CHI 11 Months

Lions coach Jim Schwartz benched DE Willie Young for his personal foul in Thursday's preseason game against the Patriots.

The Lions somehow committed five personal fouls in the exhibition tilt, living up to their bad reputation. "We didn't want any more personal fouls," Schwartz said succinctly afterward. Increased discipline will be a must if the Lions are to bounce-back from their disastrous 2012 in any meaningful way.

Willie Young DL CHI Apr 16 '13

Lions DE Willie Young's one-year deal is worth $1.5 million.

That's $500,000 less than the second-round level Young was tendered at as a restricted free agent. It's a sneaky tactic by the Lions, though Young could have forced his way to the open market by calling the Lions' bluff and refusing to sign for less than his tender amount. The deal includes a $300,000 signing bonus. Young will compete for a starting job in camp, and should have the inside track on starting opposite Jason Jones.

Willie Young DL CHI Apr 15 '13

Lions re-signed DE Willie Young to a one-year contract.

Willie Young DL CHI Mar 12 '13

Lions extended restricted free agent DE Willie Young a second-round tender.

With Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson on the free agent market and Kyle Vanden Bosch run out of MoTown, 27-year-old Young is currently the best defensive end on the Lions' roster. Expect that to change dramatically before Week 1.

Willie Young DL CHI Dec 08 '12

Lions DE Willie Young smashed his middle finger so bad in Week 11 that he considered having it amputated.

We typically don't post information like this, but it's an excuse to talk about Young, who was deemed Detroit's "biggest breakout of this year's preseason." Head coach Jim Schwartz gave his third-year player a lot of love, and some thought Young could be the fallback plan to pending free agent Cliff Avril. Young has played in roughly 25-33 percent of the defensive snaps this season and has amassed a whopping seven tackles with zero sacks. The Lions don't have an heir apparent to Avril on the current roster.

Willie Young DL CHI Aug 30 '12

Lions DE Willie Young has been the team's "biggest breakout of the preseason."

Young has recovered a fumble, forced a sack, blocked a punt and intercepted a pass, following up an impressive offseason and training camp. "Let's not put him in the Hall of Fame yet," quipped coach Jim Schwartz while acknowledging that Young "makes a lot of plays." While the Lions still have "every intention" of locking up franchise player Cliff Avril, Young is emerging as a fine fallback plan.

Willie Young DL CHI Aug 07 '12

Coach Jim Schwartz says DE Willie Young was one of the "most consistent players" during the first week of Lions camp.

Young split first-team reps at left end before Cliff Avril reported on Sunday. "We expect a lot from him," Schwartz said. "He's made plays for us, He's come a long way. ... (He needs to) keep grinding that attitude, not feel as though we've accomplished anything the first week in camp." Young was efficient as a situational pass-rusher last season, and could grease the skids for Avril's departure in free agency if he's similarly productive in 2012.

Willie Young DL CHI Jul 03 '124 Comments

Lions GM Martin Mayhew labeled DE Willie Young as one of three players to have outstanding offseasons this year.

Young took advantage of Cliff Avril's absence in spring practices. Although he played just over 20 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps, Young finished behind only Trent Cole, Jason Babin, and Chris Long in Pro Football Focus' Pass Rushing Productivity rating last season, bringing pressure on one of every six plays. He's an underrated member of Detroit's imposing defensive front.