T.J. Lang: Late Detroit Lions offer topped Seattle Seahawks

Lang said he was "99% sure" he was going to sign with Seattle after his free-agent visit

Dave Birkett
Detroit Free Press
View Comments
Packers guard T.J. Lang gets ready for a game Sept. 4, 2014.

New Detroit Lions right guard T.J. Lang said he was leaning toward signing with the Seattle Seahawks when the Lions won him over with a revised last-minute contract offer.

Lang said the Seahawks had the best offer on the table when he followed the team on Twitter late Saturday night.

"I didn’t know Detroit was coming back with a counteroffer," Lang said in an interview with 97.1-FM today. "When I left Seattle I was about 99% sure I was flying back there to sign a contract and Detroit stepped up and things changed pretty quick."

Lang signed a three-year, $28.5-million contract with the Lions on Sunday that a person familiar with the deal said included $19 million fully guaranteed.


Offensive lineman T.J. Lang living a boyhood dream signing with Lions

New Lions OG T.J. Lang: We can have one of best OLs in the NFL

Lang did not share any details of the Seahawks' offer.

The Green Bay Packers, the other team in Lang's final three, offered Lang just $21.5 million over three years with $6.5 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.

Asked by a Packers fan during the segment about his decision to leave Green Bay, Lang, who played the last eight seasons with the Packers, said, "Hey, man, it’s a business decision. It wasn’t just my decision. Honestly, they made it easy for me. So that’s about all I can say about that."

When host Mike Valenti followed up with a question about the Packers' frugality when it comes to paying their own players, Lang was blunt.

"I think just throughout the years they were able to get some guys back in town because they used the whole, we’re good, we’re competitive, we compete for championships every year. Do you want to play with the best quarterback in the NFL-type thing, you’re going to have to take a little less money, and I think it just kind of wore some guys out the last couple years and watching guys leave," Lang said. "But it was a luxury that for a long time they were able to have. And they’re still going to be fine, they’re still going to compete, they’re still going to be a hell of a team, but it is what it is. It’s just a business and the older you get, the more you play, the more you understand it."

Lang, a Michigan native who played at Birmingham Brother Rice and Eastern Michigan, lavished praise on Matthew Stafford during the lengthy segment, calling him "one of the elite" quarterbacks in the NFL, as well as left tackle Taylor Decker, calling him a future Pro Bowler.

He said he might not be a Lion right now if Ndamukong Suh was still on the team.

"I didn’t think about it, but we didn’t get along too much," Lang said.

And he reiterated that the chance to return to home was a big reason why he signed with the Lions.

"Ultimately, really, Detroit made the decision for me," Lang said. "They made me feel so wanted and so welcome in the facility. And obviously this is home for us, so everything, factoring in the contract, moving the family back home, being able to raise my kids in the area that I was raised in really went a long way for me and turned out to make the decision pretty easily."

Contact Dave Birkett: Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Download our Lions Xtra app for free on Apple and Android!

View Comments