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Lions Prepared To Make CB Justin Coleman NFL's Highest-Paid Nickel: Report

Coleman spent the first two years of his career in New England.

March 11, 2019 - 3:24 pm

It might not be a splashy name, but it sure looks like a splashy move. 

The Lions are nearing a deal with former Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman that will make him the highest-paid nickel in the NFL, according to Tom Pelissero. 

Via Ian Rapoport, the deal is worth $36 million over four years. The league's previous highest-paid nickelback was Bobby McCain, who signed a four-year, $27 million deal with the Dolphins last offseason. 

Coleman, 25, played in 16 games for the Seahawks each of the last two seasons, coming up with three interceptions and 19 passes defended in that span. He picked off Matthew Stafford in Seattle's win over Detroit in 2018. He's the kind of playmaker Lions GM Bob Quinn has been looking for on defense. 

He also has the all-important Patriots connection, having played in New England under Matt Patricia from 2015-16. 

Between Darius Slay and Coleman, the Lions appear to have two elite cornerbacks in a league where talent at that position is paramount. Coleman is especially adept at defending the slot, which theoretically allows Slay to play on the outside. 

Coleman and Slay, ironically enough, were high school teammates in Georgia. They're also cousins, which makes it two for Slay in the secondary, along with safety Tracy Walker. 

In addition to his work on defense, Coleman has played lots on special teams over his career. Expect that to continue in Detroit. 

Coleman can officially sign with the Lions when the new league year begins March 13.