Lions sign special teams ace Johnson Bademosi

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
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Johnson Bademosi

The Lions signed one of the NFL’s top special teams players on Thursday.

Former Browns cornerback Johnson Bademosi agreed to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million, which will make him the highest-paid special teams ace in the NFL.

His contract also includes up to $1.5 million in potential bonuses related to defensive playing time and Pro Bowl nods.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Bademosi was a career backup in Cleveland, but led the Browns in special teams tackles in three of his four seasons. To be good on special teams, Bademosi said players must be relentless, physical and play with their “hair on fire.”

“I’m probably a little crazy,” he said on a teleconference. “I’m probably willing to do things some people aren’t. I’m willing to do the dirty work.”

Bademosi went undrafted in 2012 out of Stanford, and even though he spent some time at safety in Cleveland, he’ll be a cornerback in Detroit.

Bademosi had 12 solo tackles, 17 total, on special teams in 2015. He finished the season with 27 total tackles and two passes defensed as he played 16 percent of the Browns’ defensive snaps.

In four seasons in Cleveland, Bademosi has never started on defense.

“They haven’t promised me anything, but they’re going to give me an opportunity to play special teams as I’ve done in the past and give me an opportunity to compete to play cornerback,” he said. “And I’m excited about it.”

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