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Free agency roundup: Colts re-sign Christine Michael

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The Detroit Lions found their veteran tight end.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports Detroit signed former Seahawks tight end Luke Willson to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million, according to a source informed of the decision. Detroit announced the signing Wednesday.

Signing Willson (two Ls, not one; don't get it twisted) comes after the Lions released former first-round tight end, Eric Ebron, ahead of the new league year.

Willson, an Ontario native, doesn't replace Ebron's pass-catching production (89 career receptions in five seasons in Seattle) but is a big upgrade as a run blocker. With the Lions hoping to turn a putrid run game around, improving the blocking from the tight end position became essential.

Willson joins 2017 fourth-round rookie Michael Roberts atop the Lions' tight end depth chart. It's a position the team is likely not done addressing this offseason.

Detroit is also working on a deal for defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, who played nine games, including postseason, in New England last season under then-defensive coordinator and current Lions coach Matt Patricia. The Lions moved to add another defender Wednesday, signing free agent defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Williams was a 2013 first-round pick by the Broncos.

Here are the other free-agent visits and signings that we're monitoring on Wednesday:

1. The Indianapolis Colts re-signed running back Christine Michael after he spent the entire 2017 season on injured reserve.

The Colts also signed Jack Mewhort to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million including incentives, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports. Indy drafted Mewhort in the second round of the 2014 draft. The guard has played in and started 45 games over four seasons with the Colts, but missed 11 games last year with a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve. Mewhort was No. 38 on NFL.com's list of Top 101 free agents.

The Colts also re-signed cornerback Pierre Desir, who started six games for Indy and recorded 32 combined tackles, seven passes defensed and one interception in 2017.

2. The Atlanta Falcons signed former San Francisco 49ers tight end Logan Paulsen to a one-year contract, the team announced. Rapoport reports Paulson's deal is worth just over $1 million with $200,000 guaranteed. They are hosting linebacker Pernell McPhee on Wednesday. Released by the Chicago Bears in late February, McPhee has also met with the Washington Redskins.

3. Former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns is scheduled to visit the Dallas Cowboys and then the New York Jets this week, Rapoport reported, per a source informed of his situation. The Jags released the wide receiver on Tuesday before he was set to earn $7 million in non-guaranteed money.

4. Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead is visiting the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, Rapoport reported, per a source.

5. The Denver Broncos signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Clinton McDonald.

6. The Kansas City Chiefs are working on a deal for veteran tight end Benjamin Watson. Watson, 37, caught 61 passes for 522 yards and four touchdowns for the Ravens in 2017. Kansas City announced Wednesday that it signed former Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Xavier Williams.

7. Free-agent defensive lineman Emmanuel Lamur signed with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday, the team announced.

8. The Minnesota Vikings re-signed kicker Kai Forbath. Forbath joined the organization in 2016 and has made 47 of 53 field goal attempts in 23 games played for Minnesota. The Vikes also announced the re-signings of tight end Josiah Price and long snapper Nick Dooley and the release of linebacker Shaan Washington.

9. The Houston Texans released defensive tackle Chunky Clements and wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.

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