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Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew has said he thinks the Lions need to get bigger and tougher on defense, especially at defensive tackle. They don't get much bigger than Grady Jackson, the 350-ish pound nose tackle who signed a three-year contract Wednesday with the Lions.
Jackson almost certainly will improve the Lions' rush defense, which ranked at the bottom of the NFL last season. When he's on the field, at least.
The Lions took a calculated risk with Jackson, whose status in the league's much-discussed StarCaps case hasn't been completely resolved. The league deferred punishment last winter on his positive test result pending further information. Five other players, including Minnesota defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, were suspended for four games and are awaiting the results of a legal dispute over the issue.
(In the meantime, Jackson has filed a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer of StarCaps, which was found to contain the banned substance known as bumetanide.)
Jackson has not been suspended and may never be. But it's something to keep in mind as the league seeks resolution of the issue.