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Lions extend contracts of Ashlee Palmer, Don Carey

The two defensive players provide key depth and special teams reps for Detroit, who may be set to lose a number of defensive players to free agency.

USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions kept two of their defensive players off the free agent market, signing linebacker Ashlee Palmer and safety Don Carey to extensions prior to the end of the regular season.

Palmer, who started two games this season, was inked to a two-year extension through 2014, and will make $1 million and $1.25 million over those two seasons. Aside from providing depth at linebacker, Palmer is also one of the best special teams players on the roster. He had 24 tackles and two forced fumbles on the season.

Carey started six games for Detroit this past season, and received a one year deal through 2013. The Lions could possibly lose fellow safeties Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey to free agency, so Carey's re-signing helps solidify the team's defensive backfield and special teams units. Carey recorded 39 tackles and two interceptions in 2012.

The Lions have a busy offseason ahead, as they have 23 players that will become unrestricted free agents this March.