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The Lions edged four other teams who were trying to sign the former Bears defensive back. The Vikings and Giants came the closest to beating out the Lions. The Redskins and Dolphins were also in the hunt but could only offer the NFL minimum.
In the end, McQuarters preferred going to a team with familiar faces. He played for Lions coach Steve Mariucci when he was a former first-round pick of the 49ers. In Chicago, McQuarters started for former Bears head coach Dick Jauron, who is the current Lions defensive coordinator.
McQuarters, 28, has played seven seasons, two with the 49ers and five with the Bears. In his final season with Chicago, McQuarters showed the versatility of playing cornerback and safety. He's also a punt-returner.
The move by the Lions to sign McQuarters could end their bid to get former Patriots cornerback Ty Law, who visited the team last month. Prior to the draft, the Lions identified cornerback as a need.
"I love Ty Law and I want to think I would still consider him, but right now, with where we're at, I wanted to make sure I'm getting something," Lions president Matt Millen told the Detroit Free Press.John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.