Lions LB Travis Lewis headed to Vikings

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

The Lions will lose one of their top special teams players when free agency opens later Wednesday afternoon.

Travis Lewis

Travis Lewis, a seventh-round pick in 2012, plans to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

Lewis, 28, hardly played on defense in his first three seasons, but earned an opportunity in 2015, starting four games and tallying a career-high 21 tackles and one sack. However, Lewis lost his starting job as the strong-side linebacker midway through the season as Tahir Whitehead earned a bigger role in the rotation with Josh Bynes and Stephen Tulloch.

With Lewis leaving and Whitehead getting interest as a free agent, the Lions could enter 2016 with just one player remaining from their 2012 draft class. Offensive tackle Riley Reiff, the first-round pick that year, has one more year on his contract.

Lewis was second on the Lions last year with eight tackles on special teams.

Contract details for Lewis were not immediately available. FOX Sports first reported the deal.