Lions add more beef to the OL with former Wolverine Jon Jansen

Friday, May 29, 2009

Carlos Monarrez at reports the Lions have agreed to a 1-year deal with veteran OT and former Michigan Wolverine Jon Jansen. Jansen, who's 6-6, 306, spent the past nine seasons with the Washington Redskins, and started 11 games last year. The 33 year old is a native of Clawson. Jansen wasn't even out of work 8 hours after the Redskins cut him on Friday. Dan Snyder flew Jansen and his wife from their Michigan home to Redskins Park, where he was offered the opportunity to retire as a member of the team. "He's been a tremendous part of this program," Redskins Coach Jim Zorn said. "I didn't want to just call him up and go 'Hey, I'm cutting you today.'" When Jansen indicated he wanted to continue his career, the Redskins granted his release, and the Lions pounced. Jansen started 122 games for the Redskins, validating his nickname "Rock" by missing only one snap in his first five seasons while playing close to Pro Bowl level. A ruptured Achilles' tendon in 2004, two broken thumbs in 2005, a torn calf muscle in 2006, a broken ankle in 2007 and a sprained knee in 2008 kept him off the field and hindered his skills. Jansen temporarily lost his starting job to Stephon Heyer last year, but he returned for this year's offseason workouts and organized team activities determined to show he could still play at a high level. "He was going to prove to everybody that he could make the Pro Bowl and be an All-Pro player, and that's what we were hoping for as well," Zorn said. "At the minicamp and the OTAs, I didn't see that." Jansen, however, questioned the timing of the Redskins' decision. "My response was I would have hoped for a better chance at the OTAs and the minicamp and maybe some more reps," Jansen said in a telephone interview as he headed to the airport for the flight home. "I think that their mind was made up prior to that, and that's OK. I just wish it would have happened a little sooner. ... There would have been more jobs available, more money available." How much tread does Jansen have left on the tires? Insurance in case Gosder doesn't progress? Can Jansen push anybody to start as a guard? They're talking about it in The Den!