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Israel Idonije, Detroit Lions agree to contract

Former Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije came in 10th on Around The League's list of top free-agent pass rushers.

Although Idonije visited the Tennessee Titans and had a standing offer from the Bears prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, teams were unwilling to meet his asking price ostensibly due to his age (32).

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Now that the Bears have moved on to Sedrick Ellis, Idonije has signed a one-year contract with the division rival Detroit Lions, ProFootballTalk.com reported Tuesday. The Lions' official web site later reported the team and Idonije agreed to a contract.

Idonije still was playing at a high level last season, holding down left end on running downs and moving inside as a pass rusher in nickel packages. He has tallied a respectable 20.5 sacks over the past three seasons.

This is a smart signing for the Lions. The trio of rookie Ziggy Ansah, veteran Jason Jones and rotational end Willie Young is long on potential but short on proven production.

Idonije offers not only experience but versatility, allowing mad scientist Gunther Cunningham to tinker with several different concoctions in his defensive coordinator lab.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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