The Detroit Lions have made big moves to bolster their defense on the first day of the NFL's negotiating period.
Defensive end Trey Flowers has agreed to a five-year deal with Detroit that's expected to average between $16 million and $17 million per year, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Nickel cornerback Justin Coleman is heading to Detroit on a four-year deal worth $36 million, according to ESPN's Michael Rothstein and multiple reports. Coleman's deal would be the richest ever for a nickel cornerback.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia was New England's defensive coordinator before taking over in Detroit ahead of last season, and Flowers and Coleman have Patriots ties.
A fourth-round selection by New England in 2015, Flowers, 25, led the Pats in sacks each of the past three seasons, with his 7.5 in 2018 setting a career high.
Coleman, who will turn 26 on March 27, was a steal for the Seattle Seahawks after they acquired him from the Patriots for a seventh-round pick shortly before the 2017 season opener.
At 6-foot-2 and 265 pounds with unusually long arms (34¼ inches), Flowers was a chess piece for the Patriots' ever-changing defense with his ability to play a variety of techniques. In 46 regular-season games, he has totaled 164 tackles, 21 sacks and five forced fumbles. In nine playoff games, he has amassed 39 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
Coleman spent the past two seasons as Seattle's nickelback, recording 90 tackles, three interceptions and 19 passes defended. He returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns in 2017, and he had a fumble return for a touchdown last season.
According to Pro Football Reference, Coleman appeared in 59.6 percent and 67.8 percent of Seattle's defensive snaps the past two regular seasons and did not miss a game.
On the other side of the ball, the Lions have agreed to a deal with tight end Jesse James, a source told Schefter, confirming an NFL Network report.
The 25-year-old James proved to be a versatile, reliable and durable option during his first four NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, catching 120 passes for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns. He also proved crucial in the running game and the team's coveted two-tight-end sets.
The former fifth-round pick (160th overall) in 2015 might be best known for the catch he didn't actually make. James' play against the Patriots in 2017, ruled incomplete because he didn't "survive the ground" while lunging over the goal line, sparked controversy leaguewide.
The play was a catalyst for the NFL competition committee's decision to tweak the catch rule to accommodate players attempting football moves after securing the ball. The Steelers failed to score at the end of that New England game, and losing to the Patriots cost the team home-field advantage in the playoffs.
ESPN's Mike Reiss, Brady Henderson and Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.