Tight end Josh Hill to retire from Lions

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
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The Detroit Lions suddenly find themselves in the market for a tight end. Veteran Josh Hill is expected to retire, less than two months after signing a one-year contract to join the Lions, a team source with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed Tuesday. 

Shortly after signing with the Lions, Hill, who spent his entire eight-year career with the New Orleans Saints, noted the difficulties of uprooting his family. 

Josh Hill plans to retire.

"It is tough," he said. "We kind of made this our home base. We stayed here throughout the year, so when you have — we’ve got four kids, so moving those relationships and everything, there’s growing pains with that of course."

But Hill, who was following his former position coach Dan Campbell to Detroit, also seemed to embrace the idea of being a culture-setter with the Lions. 

"I’m just going to go into camp and try to bring different assets to the table, really do anything they ask me to do and just bring a workman’s mentality to it," Hill said.

The abrupt retirement has the Lions quickly shopping for replacements. The NFL Network reported Darren Fells is meeting with the team on Tuesday. 

Fells, a seven-year veteran who spent the 2017 season with Detroit, has been with the Houston Texans the past two years. Appearing in all 32 games during that stretch, he hauled in 55 passes for 653 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Hill's retirement leaves T.J. Hockenson the most experienced tight end on the roster. The other options in the room include Alize Mack, Hunter Thedford and undrafted rookies Jake Hausmann and Brock Wright. 

The Lions released Hunter Bryant last week with an injury designation. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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