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Detroit Lions Sign Nine Players To Future Contracts

The Detroit Lions are gearing up for an important offseason, which has already seen all three of the major coordinators receive contract extensions and general manager Martin Mayhew confirm that the team is working on new contracts for wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive lineman Cliff Avril. Now, the team is getting ready for training camp by signing nine players to 2012 future contracts. Below are the players, from the Detroit Lions official website:

Ugo Chinasa, DE, Oklahoma State
Dan Gerberry, C, Ball State
Marcus Harris, WR, Murray State
Nate Hughes, WR, Alcorn State
Jacques McClendon, G, Tennessee
Slade Norris, LB, Oregon State
Nathan Overbay, TE, Eastern Washington
Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU
Ross Weaver, DB, Michigan State

Signing these players to future contracts makes them eligible for offseason workouts and the like. Things like OTAs, and training camps can't really progress unless a player is signed to a "future" contract. These are all practice squad players who the team will give a chance to compete for the full roster, but ultimately will likely end up on the practice squad again come time for roster cuts.