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Lions sign offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

The Lions went into the offseason searching for offensive line help, and on Wednesday morning, they made a move aimed at improving the depth of the position.

Geoff Schwartz, who has experience playing both guard spots as well as right tackle, is signing with the Lions. At 29, he immediately becomes the elder statesmen of a young offensive line group.

Where the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Schwartz will play in 2016 is hard to say, but the Lions lacked proven depth across the offensive line, particularly after choosing not to re-sign veteran interior lineman Manny Ramirez.

For now, left tackle Riley Reiff, left guard Laken Tomlinson and right guard Larry Warford appear safe in their roles. Schwartz could compete with Michael Ola and Lamar Holmes for the right tackle job, and if Schwartz has the potential to play center, he could give Travis Swanson some competition.

Schwartz started 11 games for the Giants last season, playing right and left guard, before suffering a broken left leg in Week 12. In 2014, he missed the first 10 games with a toe injury, started two games at right tackle and then went on injured reserve with an ankle ailment. The Giants cut Schwartz in February.

Before signing a four-year, $16.8 million deal with the Giants, Schwartz was with the Chiefs in 2013, Vikings in 2012 and Panthers from 2008-11. Carolina drafted him in the seventh round in 2008.

NFL Network reported that Schwartz’s deal with the Lions is for one year.