The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Big V for short) on a five-year, $50 million deal, according to multiple reports. Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio was first with the news. This is a big contract for the free agent offensive tackle and it came just minutes before reports surfaced that the Denver Broncos have signed former Lions offensive guard/center Graham Glasgow to a four-year, $44 million contract. Detroit hopes this offensive line trade-off will help the offense take a major leap forward in 2020.
Big V is a former fifth-round pick of the Eagles back in 2016 out of TCU and was a member of Philly's Super Bowl LII winning squad. According to Caplan, the expectation for the 26-year-old is to play right tackle for Detroit and fill the role of Rick Wagner, who was cut last week. That said, he does have versatility to play both tackle spots. He started at left tackle during the Eagles Super Bowl run and has 13 total starts on the blindside in his career. He also has 11 starts at right tackle under his belt and can even play guard in a pinch.
Vaitai played in all 16 regular season games for the Eagles in 2019, but he saw just three starts as he mostly served as the team's swing tackle. According to Pro Football Focus, the 6-foot-6, 315 pounder was the 22nd highest-graded offensive tackle in 2019.
While Vaitai certainly proved to be a starting-caliber tackle during the Eagles Super Bowl run, it will be interesting to see how he fares with the increased workload. He played in 73% of the offensive snaps during that 2017 season, but he has mostly hovered around 30-40% of the snaps for the other years in his career.