Detroit Lions used clever tactic to ensure DJ Reader signed with them

Syndication: The Enquirer
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

DJ Reader joined Kay Adams on her @UpAndAdamsShow and shared a story of how the Detroit Lions used a clever tactic to help sign him.

The Detroit Lions are having a heck of an 2024 offseason. They’ve hit on all of the “Plan A” options in free agency, structured several team-friendly contracts, and displayed a lot of creativity to get players signed.

Arguably the biggest (literally) signing of the offseason for the Lions was defensive tackle DJ Reader, who signed a two-year deal with Detroit. Reader joined Kay Adams of the Up & Adams streaming show on Tuesday and discussed how the Lions used a creative tactic when working toward striking a deal.

“When I went in the building (Lions training facility in Allen Park), everybody seems like they enjoyed working there,” Reader told Adams. “And that’s big for me, the energy in that building was great. Coach (Dan) Campbell, talking to him, he’s a guy who will look you straight in the eye and you can tell he really cares about ball. AG (Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn) was super excited about defense. It was a fun environment when you land there. I didn’t know much about the Detroit—and I’m excited to learn more. But it was a cool feeling and a warm welcome when I walked in.”

Reader would go on to discuss his first interactions with Campbell, including the coach’s strong handshake, labeling him the missing piece to the roster, and overall excitement for the defensive tackle to join the team. Then, in the middle of Reader reflecting on the meeting, he mentioned that the Lions only booked him a one-way flight to Detroit but left him hanging with the details of when his return flight would happen.

Adams was quick to pick up on the one-way flight and asked a follow-up question about it.

“I looked at the itinerary and was like, ‘alright, there’s gotta be a flight home,’” Reader explained. “And they was like, ‘Nah.’”

Essentially, the Lions (metaphorically) locked the doors in Allen Park and weren’t planning on letting him leave for home without the two sides reaching an agreement on a new contract.

“That’s the statement from Dan Campbell,” Adams responded. “Burn the boats. This is the Hotel California. You can come but you can never leave—and I bet that feels good?”

Reader agreed.

“It feels amazing to be wanted,” Reader continued. “That’s the biggest thing. It feels great to be wanted—and that’s all somebody wants.”

Reader and Adams discussed several other topics, including how he can he help Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill thrive next season, why he believes Jared Goff is underrated, as well as his “DEEJ and BEEJ podcast.”

You can watch the entire 10 minute video on the Up & Adams show channel on YouTube:

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Title: Detroit Lions used clever tactic to ensure DJ Reader signed with them
Author: Erik Schlitt

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