After a brief retirement due to a neck injury, inside linebacker Zach Orr is making a comeback. Coming back as a free agent, Orr is visiting the Detroit Lions.
In January, doctors told Zach Orr that he should retire from the National Football league after sustaining an injury to his neck and spine. Orr, 25, listened and moved on from the game, leaving as a second-team All-Pro. Now, it appears the former undrafted free agent is reversing course.
According to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Orr will be visiting the Lions on Thursday. The Baltimore Ravens held Orr’s rights throughout the first three years of his career, but lost them on a technicality. The Virginia native never formally retired and was a restricted free agent, but the Ravens didn’t offer a tender believing his career was over. Due to those circumstances, Orr is an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any club.
“As far as me physically, mentally, I’m ready to go,” Orr said. “I’m feeling better than ever. I’m feeling like I have these past offseasons and everything like that. So I’m ready to go.”
Detroit will have first crack, hoping to bring him on as a replacement to DeAndre Levy.
However, the fit is curious in Detroit. The Lions play a base 4-3 and spend their first-round draft pick on Jarrad Davis, an inside linebacker out of the University of Florida. Additionally, Detroit signed Paul Worrilow in March, bolstering the second level.
Some other obvious fits would include the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. Oakland plays a 4-3 as well and is desperately in need of an upgrade on the interior. The Raiders have very little talent at the MIKE spot, something that Orr could remedy. Kansas City has Derrick Johnson on the inside but plays a base 3-4 alignment, the same as Baltimore. The Chiefs could put Orr next to Johnson while viewing him as Johnson’s long-term replacement.
Last year, Orr racked up 132 tackles and three interceptions, career highs in both categories.