Lions sign Stanford to add cornerback depth

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Lions entered the summer break with an open spot on the 90-man roster, but with training camp just around the corner, they found someone to fill the void this week.

R.J. Stanford, 27, signed with the Lions on Tuesday afternoon following a workout with other defensive backs, the team announced. Stanford effectively takes the roster spot of Bill Bentley, whom the Lions cut after the conclusion of minicamp in June.

After spending two years with the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him in 2010, Stanford spent 2012-13 with the Miami Dolphins. He was with the Cincinnati Bengals last offseason, but was cut out of training camp. The Dolphins brought him back for the final five games of 2014.

In 46 career games, the 5-foot-10 Stanford has 51 tackles and two interceptions. Besides Stanford, the Lions hosted Javier Arenas, a second-round pick by Kansas City in 2010, and Ethan Davis, who went undrafted out of Troy this year.

Stanford will compete for one of the final cornerback spots on the roster and could help his chances by showing some ability to play in the slot. In addition to starters Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay, Josh Wilson, Nevin Lawson and rookies Alex Carter and Quandre Diggs are among the cornerbacks who could be contributors, but the Lions likely will keep extra cornerbacks this year after injury issues in 2014.