Justin Coleman to Sign With the Detroit Lions

Justin Coleman

Nickel cornerback Justin Coleman will sign with the Detroit Lions once the new league year begins, per multiple reports. The deal is worth a maximum of $36 million over four years. Coleman is now the highest paid nickel corner in the NFL surpassing Baltimore’s Tavon Young who previously broke the record two weeks ago. Coleman spent the last two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks after spending the previous three seasons with the New England Patriots. After going undrafted in 2015, Coleman signed with the Minnesota Vikings but did not make final cuts. Coleman had a short stint with the Patriots prior to signing with the Seahawks before finding his way back on New England the same year. This major deal now resets the market on only the first day the 2019 of free agency season.

Justin Coleman to Sign With the Detroit Lions

Coleman played in all 17 games including Seattle’s playoff loss to Dallas last season. During these games, he recorded 55 tackles, one interception, 10 passes deflected, and one forced fumble. He was the key role player on passing downs for a Seattle defense that was undergoing major changes after a major roster turnover.

Coleman has proven himself as one of the most reliable nickel cornerbacks in the NFL. He is a player that can cover in the slot, outside, and is not afraid of contact. He is only 25 years old and his best football might be ahead of him. Pro Football Focus rated Coleman at 67.4 made him PFF’s No. 54 ranked corner in 2018.

Coleman has proven to be a valuable role player on both the Patriots and Seahawks over the past 3 seasons. His versatility and willingness to learn have been crucial in him finding opportunity after opportunity. He has been on and off rosters since coming into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2015. However, Coleman has managed to thrive and even won a Super Bowl with the 2016 Patriots. Now he seeks to secure another ring after signing this new contract.

During his previous four seasons, Coleman racked up 126 tackles, three interceptions, 27 passes deflected, two sacks, and two touchdowns. All of these stats were compiled in a limited role and while traveling between several teams which speaks volumes of his ability to adapt.

The Brunswick, GA native played college football for the University of Tennessee. During his finals year as a Volunteer, Coleman recorded 42 tackles and tied 4th in the SEC with four interceptions. He was invited to the 2015 East-West Shrine Game where he recorded four solo tackles and deflected a pass. Coleman was the only player from Tennessee invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. He impressed in the three-cone drill, 60-yard shuttle, and ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash. Coleman’s three-cone drill has the second fastest time in this free agency class at 6.61 seconds. Even after an impressive combine, Coleman went undrafted and was signed by the Minnesota Vikings.

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