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Detroit Lions sign free agent DE Robert Ayers

By Alex Butler
Detroit Lions sign free agent DE Robert Ayers
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles with Denver Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers (91) giving pursuit at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. File photo by Chris Trotman/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The Detroit Lions have agreed to a contract with free agent defensive end Robert Ayers.

Detroit also waived cornerback Josh Okonye in a corresponding transaction. The Lions announced the moves on Monday. Sources told NFL Network and ESPN that the deal is for one year.

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Ayers, 32, had 31 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles in 12 games last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The nine-year veteran entered the NFL as the No. 18 overall pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2009 NFL Draft. Ayers spent his first five seasons with the Broncos, before joining the New York Giants in 2014. The 6-foot-3, 273-pound defender has 264 tackles, 108 quarterback hits, 51 tackles for a loss, 35 sacks and nine forced fumbles in 120 career NFL appearances.

The Lions have Anthony Zettel and Ezekiel Ansah listed as their starting defensive ends on their unofficial depth chart. Kerry Hyder Jr., Alex Barrett, Jeremiah Ledbetter, Cam Johnson, Jeremiah Valoaga and Da'Shawn Hand are listed as reserves at the position.

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Okonye played three seasons at Wake Forest before piling up 57 tackles, 10 passes defensed, 4.5 tackles for a loss and one sack in 13 games last season at Purdue.

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