Continuing to bolster their offensive line depth, the New York Jets on Tuesday signed former Detroit Lions right tackle Corey Hilliard, an unrestricted free agent. Financial details weren't immediately available, but it's probably a one-year contract.
Hilliard, who turns 30 next month, was the Lions' opening-day starter last season, but he suffered the dreaded Lisfranc foot injury in Week 1 and missed the remainder of the season. He didn't have surgery.
In the span of a week, the Jets have added two experienced players on the line -- three, if you count the re-signing of right guard Willie Colon. They also signed former New York Giants guard/tackle James Brewer.
Detect a trend? Unlike his predecessor, John Idzik, new general manager Mike Maccagnan prefers experienced depth on the offensive line. The Jets' backups at the start of last season were Ben Ijalana (now a free agent), Oday Aboushi, Dalton Freeman and rookie Dakota Dozier. The latter three had no NFL experience. Aboushi moved into a starting role when Brian Winters suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Evidently, Maccagnan isn't a huge fan of the returning depth.
Hilliard (6-foot-6, 300), originally a sixth-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2007, has played 47 games in his career, including 12 starts. He started seven games in 2013 for the Lions, playing a total of 413 snaps on offense. He offers some versatility because he has lined up as an extra tight end. In fact, he played 27 snaps in 2013 in that role.
Hilliard has played mostly right tackle, so he figures to back up Breno Giacomini if he makes the team.