The Detroit Lions this morning re-signed offensive lineman Corey Hilliard to a two-year contract, keeping one of their nine priority free agents off the market.

The deal was first reported by ESPN.

Hilliard has played sparingly in his three seasons with the Lions and did not appear in a game last year, but Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said earlier this off-season he hoped to keep the 27-year-old in Detroit.

The Lions met with Hilliard’s agent, Blake Baratz, while at the NFL combine last week in Indianapolis, to work on contract parameters.

Hilliard, who made four starts at right tackle as a fill-in for Gosder Cherilus in 2010 and one in 2011, is expected to compete for a starting job on the right side of the offensive line next season.

Riley Reiff, who played as a sixth offensive lineman last year, will start at right guard or one of the two tackle spots, and Hilliard or Jason Fox could start at right tackle. Fox is a restricted free agent, though the Lions plan to tender him.

Cherilus is an unrestricted free agent and, given his history of knee problems and the wealth of younger, cheaper talent on the Lions’ roster, probably will play elsewhere next year.