Former University of Maine All-Colonial Association first team defensive end Trevor Bates has signed with the National Football League’s Detroit Lions, according to detroitlions.com.
To make room for Bates, who is projected as a linebacker, the Lions released undrafted tight end DeAndre Goolsby.
Bates, a native of Westbrook, spent last season with the practice squads of the New England Patriots and then the New York Giants. He was released by the Giants in December.
He was with the practice squad for the Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning team in 2016-17.
Bates was a seventh-round draft choice of the Colts, the 239th overall pick, and appeared in one regular season game for the Colts during the 2016 season, a 29-23 win over Chicago.
He had 22 snaps on special teams during that game and he will be looking to break into the Lions special teams.
He was cut by the Colts in October and signed to the Patriots’ practice squad, where he was twice named Patriots’ Practice Player of the Week. He’ll be reunited with former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who is the new head coach of the Lions.
The Lions are currently in the middle of a three-day OTA (Organized Team Activity).
The 6-foot-2, 247-pound Bates played in 46 games during his UMaine career and had 207 tackles including 35 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. He also forced five fumbles, made three interceptions and recovered two fumbles. He returned a fumble recovery and an interception for a touchdown.
He was chosen an All-CAA first teamer his senior year in 2015 when he was involved in 57 tackles and was third in the league in tackles for loss (14 ½) and fourth in sacks (7.5).
He had 60 tackles in 2014 including nine for loss and 5.5 sacks. His sophomore year (2013), he was involved in 54 tackles with nine for loss and four sacks.
Bates was involved in 36 tackles his first season with 2.5 for loss and two sacks.
The Lions finished 9-7 last season but struggled defensively.
They allowed 23.5 points per game, sixth most among 32 teams, and they also gave up 355.8 yards per game which was also sixth most.
The Lions signed another former Patriots linebacker, Jonathan Freeny, during the offseason.
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