Tuesday, May 16, 2006
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Jeff Backus, the Lions starting left tackle for the past five seasons, will be among the players participating in the team's organized team activities, which begin today.
The Lions confirmed Monday that Backus, a Norcross graduate, has signed the one-year franchise tender.
On Feb. 23, Backus was designated as the club's non-exclusive franchise player. As defined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement for a non-exclusive franchise player, he has agreed to a one-year deal worth the average of the top five salaries of 2005 at his position or 120 percent of his previous year's salary.
Backus was at the Lions practice facility in Allen Park on Monday and returned to the Lions' offseason conditioning program. He will have an opportunity to get acclimated to the team's new coaching staff, new offense and some new teammates prior to the team's mandatory mini-camp that begins May 31.
In 2001, Backus was drafted by Detroit in the first round (18th overall) of the NFL Draft. He has played and started in 80 consecutive games at left tackle since joining the Lions, including the final 11 games in 2005 through which he played with a high-ankle sprain.