Allen Park — The Detroit Lions tendered a pair of exclusive rights free agents, keeping cornerbacks Dee Virgin and Mike Ford in the fold, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Virgin was one of Detroit's top special teamers last season, playing a team-high 360 snaps on the return and coverage units in 2019. Ford, an undrafted free agent signed out of Southeast Missouri State in 2018, played 252 special teams snaps and another 166 on defense.
An exclusive rights free agent is a player with two or fewer accrued seasons. The tender is a one-year, non-guaranteed contract at league minimum salary, which prohibits the player from negotiating with other teams.
The Lions did not offer a tender to either of the team's restricted free agents, running back J.D. McKissic and defensive tackle Jamie Meder. Both officially became free to sign with another team at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
McKissic, acquired off waivers before the start of the regular season, gained 438 yards from scrimmage in 2019, rushing for 205 yards on 38 carries and catching 34 passes for 233 yards.
Meder, a December addition, played 12 snaps in the season finale against Green Bay.