<
>

Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus heading back to Lions

Martin Mayhew said at the NFL combine that he wanted to make sure he added some special-teams players to help out during free agency.

Turns out, the Detroit Lions GM didn't go very far to find some of the core ones. A few hours after re-signing linebacker Josh Bynes, safety Isa Abdul-Quddus tweeted that he, too, would be returning to Detroit.

Abdul-Quddus was one of the more intriguing non-Ndamukong Suh free agents the Lions had, mostly due to his age and his potential as a starting safety somewhere in the NFL. FOX Sports' Peter Schrager first had the news and said Abdul-Quddus would be returning on a one-year deal. The 25-year-old Abdul-Quddus was one of Mayhew's shrewder moves recently, as he claimed the safety during the 2013 playoffs after he was waived by New Orleans.

After being claimed by the Lions, Abdul-Quddus signed a one-year deal with Detroit instead of going to restricted free agency. He turned into one of the Lions’ most important special-teams players -- he was 10th in fan voting for a special-teams player in the Pro Bowl -- as well as a situational safety.

He has played in 58 games with 81 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as Detroit's third safety. He also made three starts when James Ihedigbo was injured at the start of the season. Depending on how the two safeties play in 2015, Abdul-Quddus could end up being Ihedigbo's eventual replacement. Abdul-Quddus turns 26 in August.

He is more valuable on special teams, with 26 tackles since going undrafted out of Fordham in 2011.

The Lions now return their top four safeties from a season ago: Ihedigbo and Glover Quin as starters, and Abdul-Quddus and Don Carey as reserves and core special-teams players.