There was no question Jansen had plenty of struggles with injuries over his decade in the nation's capital, but he is still a pretty solid lineman. That, and his many ties to the state of Michigan, have led him to quickly come to terms with the Detroit Lions.
Jansen was born in Michigan, and he played his college football at the University of Michigan. He spoke to the Washington Times, and it seems like he's pretty pumped.
"I'm besides myself with excitement," said Jansen, who grew up in suburban Detroit and makes his offseason home three hours north in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.For the Lions, this had to be a slam-dunk. They were able to get an established veteran lineman for a low salary, and they have taken a huge step toward beefing up an offensive line that was an insult to leaky offensive lines in 2008.
Fellow former Wolverine Jeff Backus will man the left tackle position (assuming Ephraim Salaam doesn't beat him out for the job), and Jansen should be given every chance to start on the right side.
Jansen has 123 NFL games on his body, and he is obviously not the best long-term option at the position. He does give them a viable option for a year or two while 2008 first-round pick Gosder Cherilus continues to learn.
It's also a nice story for the Lions, who are able to brag about signing a solid lineman with Michigan roots -- and not that long after adding Detroit native and University of Michigan star Larry Foote. That might not sound like much, but when you're coming off an 0-16 season, even the little things can feel pretty good.