Before agreeing to a one-year deal reportedly worth $1.6 million, R.W. McQuarters also received interest from Minnesota, Miami, Washington and the New York Giants.
The 28-year-old will be reunited with Dick Jauron, who was his head coach for four of his five years in Chicago. Jauron has been the defensive coordinator in Detroit since being fired by the Bears following the 2003 season.
McQuarters had his best years under Jauron, including being a key member of the 2001 squad that gave up the fewest points in the league. During a contract year he had 89 tackles, three interceptions and 18 pass breakups. General manager Jerry Angelo rewarded his play with a five-year, $21 million contract that included a $6 million signing bonus.
Detroit considered making a run at cornerback Ty Law, but health concerns steered the Lions clear. Ultimately, McQuarters versatility in the secondary and being a Pro Bowl caliber punt returner made him their choice.
McQuarters also played for Steve Mariucci in San Francisco, where he underachieved and was traded to the Bears for a sixth-round pick in 2000.
The former first-round choice could compete with veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant to play opposite Pro Bowler Dre' Bly. Bryant had a disappointing season in 2004, and a starting job is not guaranteed.