11:23am: Speaking to reporters, including Birkett (Twitter link), head coach Jim Caldwell acknowledged today that the Lions have signed Henery and waived Freese.
10:27am: After using one of their eight draft picks this spring on a kicker, the Lions have decided to move on from that player – Nate Freese – after just three regular-season games. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter), the team plans to sign former Eagles kicker Alex Henery later today.
While Birkett doesn’t specifically say that Freese will be waived, that seems like the only logical corresponding move for the signing of Henery. Freese, a rookie out of Boston College, has struggled early in the NFL career, missing at least one field goal in each of the Lions’ games so far, including a 41-yarder yesterday against Green Bay. Detroit auditioned Henery and other free agent kickers last week to prepare for the possibility of replacing Freese, who has converted just three of his seven attempts this season.
Henery had struggles of his own during the preseason with the Eagles, ultimately losing out on the job in Philadelphia to rookie Cody Parkey. However, the 27-year-old was fairly effective in three previous seasons with the club. From 2011 to 2013, Henery made 86.0% of his field goal tries and all but one of 117 extra-point attempts.