The Detroit Lions made a few more roster cuts today, waiving punter Drew Butler, quarterback James Franklin, and kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. The release of Butler was not much of a surprise as Sam Martin is the team’s starting punter. Butler was never going to make the team, but he did do a good job of advertising his skills for prospective teams.
James Franklin’s release was also not much of a surprise. The Lions likely will not keep more than 2 quarterbacks, although they could possibly keep three. Franklin never saw game action and was the odd man out in practices. He could land on the practice squad, but likely will be without a job.
Tavecchio was the big surprise today as he and Nate Freese were battling very closely for the kicker job. Freese likely got the nod due to being a draft pick. Tavecchio’s missed field goal Friday could have also played into it but its hard to say. According to Free Press writer Dave Birkett, Tavecchio was more consistent in camp.
UPDATE: While writing this, the Detroit Lions announced a few more moves through team reporter Tim Twentyman. They placed safety Dejon Gomes on IR. They also parted ways with corner Jonte Green, corner Aaron Hester, and fullback Chad Abram. The flurry of moves today in their entirety gets them to the 75 player limit they needed to be at by Tuesday at 4pm eastern.
Aaron Hester was never expected to make the active roster and was expected to be a camp body. This move comes as no surprise. The release of Chad Abram also was likely no surprise as the team had three fullbacks on the roster. The Abram move though was not expected this early as some speculated he would be added to the practice squad (and still may be). The big surprise today was the release of corner Jonte Green. It was expected that he was in a close battle with Chris Greenwood for a potential roster spot. It turns out the competition between them was not as close as we thought. Tim Twentyman stated that Greenwood has been ahead of him all offseason so far. As it stands now, Greenwood is battling for the possibility of having a 6th corner on the roster. He can still be added to the practice squad if he does not last past the final cuts.
Today’s moves in total were 6 players waived and one added to IR.
With the final rosters due on Saturday and the team’s final preseason game being Thursday, we could see the final roster cuts happen Friday.