DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions have agreed to a one-year deal with running back Matt Asiata.
Agent Kenny Zuckerman confirmed the deal Friday night. Asiata played the past five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
The agreement doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Asiata rushed for 402 yards last season for Minnesota, more than any Detroit player managed. In five NFL seasons, Asiata has rushed for 1,259 yards on 361 carries.
Detroit coach Jim Caldwell was asked earlier this month about Asiata and what he can bring to an offense.
“He’s a good special teamer. He’s tough,” Caldwell said. “He’s a very good pass protector and he carries the ball. He runs behind his pads. He’s always been a very, very effective player in this league.”
The Lions are hoping running back Ameer Abdullah can bounce back after he was limited to 18 carries last season because of a foot injury. Detroit’s running backs have often struggled to provide much balance for the Matthew Stafford-led passing game.
Asiata, who also has 101 receptions in his career, ran for a career-high 570 yards in 2014, and that was also the season he established his high in carries with 164.