The Detroit Lions have signed former Buffalo Bills reserve safety Dean Marlowe. ESPN’s Field Yates was first to report the signing and the team confirmed it. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Marlowe, 28, joined the Bills as a member of the practice squad in December 2017. He had spent his first two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where his path first crossed with Bills head coach Sean McDermott. Marlowe did not make the initial 53-man roster in 2018, but he remained with the team as a member of the practice squad. He was called up that year to fill in when Micah Hyde missed the Bills’ Week 5 win over the Tennessee Titans. Marlowe played in two games for Buffalo in 2018, making five tackles and breaking up one pass.
In 2019, Marlowe made the Bills’ roster, appearing in nine games. He made two starts and totaled 11 tackles and one pass breakup on the season. He played in 15 games in 2020, making four starts in a bit more expansive role. Marlowe also had his most complete season as a pro, notching 22 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, and the first two interceptions of his career, both of which came against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17. He had five pass breakups on the year.
With Marlowe signing elsewhere, the Bills are in need of depth at safety behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The team only has third-year man Jaquan Johnson, who has played special teams thus far in his career, and Josh Thomas, who spent his rookie year on the practice squad, behind those two stellar starters. Siran Neal, who was drafted as corner/safety hybrid, seems to have made the move to slot corner full time.
Buffalo had veteran Sean Davis in for a visit in March before he signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Expect the team to add depth here either via a veteran’s minimum signing or the NFL Draft at the end of the month.