Agent: Ngata returning to Lions on 2-year deal

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

The Lions are bringing back their starting defensive tackles from 2015.

Haloti Ngata agreed to a two-year deal with the Lions on Wednesday afternoon, according to a tweet from his agent Mike McCartney.

Ngata’s two-year deal is worth up to $12 million with $6 million guaranteed, including a $4 million signing bonus.

The Lions acquired Ngata in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens before the start of free agency last year. In his first season, he didn’t measure up to his past All-Pro play with the Ravens, but was much better when healthy in the second half of the season, helping the defense be stout against the run during a 6-2 run to close the year.

Ngata, 32, said multiple times during 2015 that he wanted to re-sign with Detroit. Now, the Lions won't have scour the market for a run-stuffing defensive tackle when free agency officially begins later Wednesday afternoon.

Tyrunn Walker, whom the Lions signed last March, re-signed on a one-year contract last week, so Walker and Ngata will presumably be the starting defensive tackles again next season.

However, Ngata and Walker are both on short-term contracts, so the recent deals shouldn’t preclude the Lions from looking for long-term defensive tackle help in the draft.

Last year Ngata had 2.5 sacks, three passes defensed and a career-low 24 tackles.

8. DT Haloti Ngata: Ngata’s 24 tackles were a career low, but after a lousy first half, he was a major reason the defense improved in the second half, particularly against the run. He had just 2.5 sacks, but set up others for his teammates.