The Lions have released tight end Brandon Pettigrew from the physically unable to perform list.
Pettigrew returned to practice in November but was unable to get healthy enough to make a return. Since he was unable to play this year, the Lions dropped Pettigrew in order to save $129K/week. Initially signed to a four-year, $16MM deal prior to the 2014 season, Pettigrew’s deal was reworked this year to a “split contract,” giving the Lions a discount while the tight end was on the PUP list.
It’s worth noting that Pettigrew’s knee is structurally sound and he’s “ready to go” (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). That means rival teams could take a hard look at the veteran tight end. He may not get claimed on waivers, but he can be expected to field calls once he’s a true free agent.
Once a target for Matthew Stafford in the passing game, Pettigrew has been used mainly as a blocking tight end in recent years. Pettigrew, 31, caught only 17 passes for 137 yards between 2014 and 2015.
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