Here's what Detroit Lions TE Jesse James has in common with Megatron
He's not the American outlaw.
But Jesse James could give the Detroit Lions the tight end presence they need heading into next season.
James, who played the past four seasons on a rookie contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, agreed to terms with the Lions in a whirlwind Monday for the franchise.
James was the fourth player to agree to sign with the Lions ahead of Wednesday's official opening to free agency. And James, coming off a modest season with the Steelers — he had 30 receptions, 423 yards, two TDs in 2018 — fills a big need in Detroit.
With that in mind, here are three things to know about the newest Lions receiver:
Jesse James ... meet Megatron
Jesse James. Meet Calvin Johnson.
James was part of one of the more brutal plays in Steelers regular-season history, and it played a big role in the NFL rethinking the infamous catch rule that started with ex-Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
In the final game of the 2017 regular season, James appeared to score a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute at Heinz Field against the New England Patriots. The win would have given the Steelers the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
Jesse made a clear catch of the ball inside the 2-yard line and pushed it across the goal line as his knee and elbow hit the ground. His left hand then sort of rolled over the top of the ball as his right hand stayed underneath it.
The score was reviewed, and the replay official determined he did not control the ball as he hit the ground in the end zone. The play was overturned, and in March 2018, the NFL simplified its rule to eliminate the need to complete the "process of the catch," which infamously began with Johnson's overturned TD catch in 2010.
Those Pittsburgh 'Kardashians'
James' best performance last season might have been his summation of the Steelers' off-the-field drama. You know, Le'Veon Bell holding out for the entire season. Antonio Brown missing the final game of the year. Or Ben Roethlisberger roasting his coaches and teammates on radio.
Here was James' take on it, according to Penn Live:
"Ah man, we are — Kardashians. We have, I mean, we’re something,” James said in December. "It’s Le’Veon Bell issues, you have more stuff popping up weekly, Jeremy Fowler’s reporting stuff about Le’Veon every other week. There’s just people calling people out."
A big name, indeed
The 6-foot-7 James was a fifth-round pick out of Penn State in 2015, and by all accounts he was worth the value in his four years with the Steelers.
James was the No. 1 tight end option in Pittsburgh until sharing time with Vance McDonald starting at the beginning of the 2017 season, and he was among the top tight-end options in a thin free-agency market at the position this offseason.
James is considered a solid blocker, but more importantly, he could give the Lions a safety net should they choose to pursue a tight end in Aprils NFL draft.
Chris Thomas is the sports editor at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @bychristhomas.