Lions sign WR Anquan Boldin just before kicking off camp

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SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 03: Anquan Boldin #81 of the San Francisco 49ers jogs into the endzone on a 33-yard touchdown catch against the St. Louis Rams during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions made a series of moves in the wake of Calvin Johnson’s retirement, signing one of the best receivers available at the start of free agency and another one a day before their first practice.

Detroit added depth to a position led by Golden Tate and depleted by Johnson’s departure by signing Anquan Boldin on Thursday just before opening training camp. The Lions signed Marvin Jones to a five-year contract days after Johnson left the league and Lions in March.

In between those two transactions, they added veterans Jeremy Kerley and Andre Caldwell. They also plan on giving young returning players such as TJ Jones and Corey Fuller a chance to catch more passes in an offense that will no longer be designed to throw the ball to Johnson early and often.

“Your team is going to change somewhat in April about 30 percent,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. “Some of it’s going to be easy transitions and some of it’s going to be difficult. But our job is to overcome any tough situations that we may face.”

The Lions won’t face defenses for the first time in a decade set up to slow down the 6-foot-5 Johnson, whose size, speed and athletic ability helped him set league records.

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