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Detroit Lions tender three exclusive-rights free agents

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Offering a trio of agents who don’t have exclusive rights, the Detroit Lions kept punter Jack Fox, full-back Jason Cabinda and the offensive tackle against Matt Nelson in check before the new league year began.

A player is considered a non-exclusive agent if he has an expiring contract and has less than three seasons. The tender is a one-year minimum contract for veterans and prohibits these players from negotiating with other teams.

Fox has had an outstanding debut season, setting franchise records for both gross and net punting. His net average of 44.8 yards was second only to New England’s Jake Bailey, who set the NFL record in 2020 with an average of 45.6 yards.

Fox was named NFL Special Team Player of the Month in September and inducted into the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.

Cabinda joined the Lions in 2019. Originally a member of the team’s training team, he was promoted to the main line-up and played an important role as a special team that season.

Cabinda switched positions last year after full-back Nick Bawden was injured at the end of the season. As a former high school student, he played 120 offensive games on the field while working nearly 60% of the snapshots on Detroit’s specialty teams.

Nelson also made a position switch for Detroit. The college defender switched to offensive tackle as an unoccupied rookie in 2019 before securing a roster spot for the 2020 season.

Injuries on the depth map ahead of him have seen Nelson use in several games last season, including his first start against Green Bay.

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Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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Dusty Kennedy