Brandon Pettigrew

Former Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew Arrested

Former Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew was arrested early Sunday morning in Oklahoma City and charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, as Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes. Pettigrew, police say, shoved his friends as they tried to get him to leave the establishment. When police intervened, Pettigrew still refused to leave the premises and continues to push his friends around while also threatening to harm them. Brandon Pettigrew (Vertical)

Pettigrew, who will turn 32 on Feb. 23, has already been released from jail, but his legal situation remains open. He’s also likely to face league discipline for his actions, though he’ll have to first find an NFL home for the 2017 season before worrying about a potential suspension. The veteran was unable to take the field for the Lions in 2016 and he was ultimately released in December.

Once a target for Matthew Stafford in the passing game, Pettigrew has been used mainly as a blocking tight end for the last few years. Pettigrew caught only 17 passes for 137 yards between 2014 and 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Waive TE Brandon Pettigrew

The Lions have released tight end Brandon Pettigrew from the physically unable to perform list. "<strong

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Kuechly, Packers, Lions

Saints running back Tim Hightower has a new appreciation for the business side of the NFL after having negotiated his own contract last offseason.

“I don’t regret anything,” Hightower told Nick Underhill of The Advocate. “It forced me to learn and have some conversations. Whether it was with (general manager) Mickey Loomis, whether it was with coach (Sean) Payton, it forced me to have some conversations that I probably wouldn’t have had before.”

Hightower ultimately landed a one-year deal worth $840K. The running back has run for 422 yards and one touchdown this season.

Let’s check out some other assorted notes from around the NFC…

  • The Panthers announced that Luke Kuechly has returned to practice. The linebacker hasn’t suited up for the team in 20 days, when he was concussed during his team’s win against the Saints. The 25-year-old has 102 tackles and two sacks this season.
  • Packers linebacker Nick Perry had surgery to repair several broken fingers, sources told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The veteran will be out for this weekend’s contest against the Seahawks, but it doesn’t sound like the 26-year-old will be out for long. Rapoport notes that the organization is hoping Perry can continue playing in a cast.
  • The Lions cleared out tight end Brandon Pettigrew‘s locker today, and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that it’s only a matter of time before the team moves on from the 31-year-old. Pettigrew, who has sat out the entire season as he’s recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, is under contract through 2017.
  • The Lions shouldn’t expect much from running back Joique Bell, writes ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein. The team could certainly use a running back, and Bell did have an 860-yard campaign with Detroit in 2014. However, Rothstein believes the 30-year-old’s best days are behind him. The Lions added the veteran running back yesterday.

Lions Sign RB Joique Bell

The Lions announced that they have signed running back Joique Bell. At the same time, they have placed tight end Brandon Pettigrew on the physically unable to perform list and placed defensive end Armonty Bryant to injured reserve. Joique Bell (Vertical)

[RELATED: Lions Add CB Asa Jackson]

Bell has been on the open market since late October when the Bears released him. Bell, a sixth-year veteran who has spent the majority of his career with the NFC North rival Lions, appeared in four games for the Bears and totaled just three carries. Between his release from the Lions in February and his deal with Chicago, the 30-year-old sat on the open market for several months. Can he find success again with the Lions? That remains to be seen, but he won’t be counted on for as many carries this time around. He’ll now slot in as the team’s No. 4 RB behind Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington, and Zach Zenner.

The Lions were hoping to get Brandon Pettigrew off of the PUP list and back on the field before the end of the season. Unfortunately, the big tight end couldn’t stay healthy. Detroit will have to make do without their best blocking TE for the rest of the month and – if they qualify – the playoffs.

Bryant was just activated after serving a three-game suspension. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury over the weekend. Bryant, 26, enjoyed something of a breakout season in 2015, racking up career-highs in sacks (5.5), tackles (40), and forced fumbles (two). In five games for Detroit this year, Bryant racked up five total tackles and three sacks.

In other Lions news, the team has plucked cornerback Asa Jackson from the Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions’ Pettigrew May Return From PUP

The Lions could get tight end Brandon Pettigrew back on the field before the year is through. Pettigrew returned to practice today, kickstarting the team’s three-week window to activate him. If his knee holds up, he could return to action. Word on the veteran’s knee has been positive as of late. Brandon Pettigrew (Vertical)

Pettigrew was placed on the PUP list in late August, helping the team to get down to the 75-man max. In September, he agreed to rework his contract in order to remain in Detroit. The tight end was previously set to earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $3.65MM for 2016. The new deal granted Pettigrew ~$129K – or, 1/17th of his $2.2MM split salary. If he is brought on to the 53-man roster, he’ll earn almost $215K, which is 1/17th of $3.65MM, his original base salary.

Pettigrew, 31, caught only 17 passes for 137 yards between 2014 and 2015. These days, he is relied on more for his blocking ability than anything else.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions, Brandon Pettigrew Rework Contract

The Lions and Brandon Pettigrew have agreed to a reworked contract, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com. The new deal gives Pettigrew additional security while he is on the PUP list while saving the Lions some cash once he returns to the field. Brandon Pettigrew (Vertical)

The tight end was previously set to earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $3.65MM for 2016. Now, Pettigrew gets a $2.2MM salary split while he is on PUP with a torn ACL. However, $1.2MM of his contract is fully guaranteed. For each week Pettigrew is on PUP, he’ll earn ~$129K – or, 1/17th of $2.2MM. If and when he is brought on to the 53-man roster, he’ll earn almost $215K, which is 1/17th of $3.65MM.

Pettigrew, 31, is counted upon for his blocking ability. Although he had a decent number of targets early in his career, he has caught only 17 passes for 137 yards over the last two seasons.

When Pettigrew is healthy, he’ll serve as the Lions No. 2 tight end behind Eric Ebron. As shown on the team’s depth chart, they also have undrafted rookie Cole Wick in the mix along with Andrew Quarless, who will be suspended for the first two games of the season. The team will have to decide on fellow tight ends Orson Charles and Adam Fuehne this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Place Brandon Pettigrew On PUP

The Lions have whittled their roster down to the league-mandated 75 players, as they’ve placed tight end Brandon Pettigrew and wide receiver Corey Fuller on the PUP list. Additionally, Detroit announced that it has waived cornerback Brandon McGee.Brandon Pettigrew (Vertical)

[RELATED: Lions Release Geoff Schwartz]

Pettigrew and Fuller will now be sidelined for the first six weeks of the season as they deal with their respective injuries. The Lions will then have an additional three-week window during which they can choose to activate the two pass-catchers. Pettigrew’s absence is especially concerning, given that fellow tight end Eric Ebron is recovering from an injury of his own, while Andrew Quarless is suspended for the first two games of the year.

McGee, meanwhile, was a fifth-round pick of the Rams back in 2013. He’s bounced around the league since that time, as he’s also played for the Giants and Cowboys before signing with the Lions earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Brees, Goff, Pettigrew, Giants

For most of the offseason, NFL observers have assumed that the Saints and Drew Brees will negotiate an extension that locks up the quarterback beyond the 2016 season and frees up some cap room for the team. However, agent Tom Condon said during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show that the Saints seem to be satisfied with Brees at his current cap number, per Joel A. Erickson of The Advocate.

According to Over the Cap’s data, New Orleans currently has less than $2MM in cap room, and that appears to be without factoring in the team’s draft picks. There are ways that the Saints could lock up all their picks and get through the 2016 season without reworking Brees’ deal, but it would almost certainly require adjusting another contract or two.

Brees, who is entering the final year of his deal, currently has a $30MM cap charge, with only one other player on the Saints’ books for a number larger than $6.35MM in 2016 — Jairus Byrd has a $10.9MM cap hit, which could be reduced via a restructure, if necessary.

As we wait to see whether New Orleans is serious about standing pat on Brees, here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Defensive lineman David Onyemata has been drafted for the second time in two weeks, writes Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com. After being selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Saints, Onyemata came off the board in the fourth round of the CFL draft as well, snatched by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Of course, Onyemata went 120th overall in the NFL draft, as opposed to 35th in the CFL draft, and he would have gone higher in the CFL draft had the Saints not selected him last month — he was viewed as the No. 1 Canadian prospect for 2016, but the Roughriders won’t get him as he long as he remains with New Orleans.
  • The Rams don’t want to rush No. 1 pick Jared Goff into anything, but as Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com writes, there’s a good chance the former Cal quarterback will be under center for the team sooner rather than later — perhaps even by Week 1.
  • Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who suffered a torn ACL near the end of the 2015 season, said on Tuesday night that he expects to be ready to go for the start of training camp in July, tweets Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
  • When the Giants waived wide receiver Ben Edwards earlier this week, the team did so with an injury designation. As Jordan Raanan of NJ.com explains, the injury Edwards suffered was a torn ACL. Since the wideout went unclaimed he’ll revert to IR — Big Blue can either keep him there for the 2016 season, or negotiate an injury settlement if he has a chance to return before the end of the year.

NFC Notes: Watson, Lions, White

Impending free agent Ben Watson had an excellent season with the Saints. Despite being 35-years-old, the tight end finished with a career-high 74 catches for 825 yards and six touchdowns. Predictably, the veteran would like to stick around New Orleans.

“I had a good conversation with Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis), and I love the Saints organization,” Watson told Joel A. Erickson of The Advocate. “I’d love to be playing there. If not there, we’ll see where else. I think I’ll know more in about a month or so.” 

Of course, Watson understands that it’s no guarantee that he’ll be back in black and gold.

“It is exciting to have the possibility to return there, but as an NFL veteran, you know how it works,” Watson said.

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC…

  • Possible Lions cap casualties include linebacker Stephen Tulloch, running back Joique Bell, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew, writes ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein.
  • When it comes to Calvin Johnson, Rothstein believes it’d be best for the Lions if the wideout stuck around for one more season. That way, the team could draft a young receiver who could learn from the superstar. However, if Johnson does decide to hang it up, the writer believes the team could pursue Marvin Jones or Jermaine Kearse.
  • While the ultimate decision will be up to coach Dan Quinn, Falcons owner Arthur Blank is hopeful that receiver Roddy White will finish his career in Atlanta. “I have nothing but respect for Roddy and I love Roddy,” Blank told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. “I love what he’s done for our franchise. And I love the type of leadership that he has. And I love his role as a father…When it comes to where Roddy is in the future, that’s where the owner doesn’t get involved. That’s a decision that will be made by the coach, the coaching staff and personnel. When they’re ready to do it, they’ll do it. They’re in the process of going through the roster evaluation now. They’ve had some discussions. They’ll have more discussions.”

Brandon Pettigrew Done For Season

Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters that tight end Brandon Pettigrew tore his ACL again, ruling him out for the remainder of the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Even though this is a lost season for the Lions, it’s unfortunate news for the seven-year veteran.

The Lions and Pettigrew agreed to a four-year contract prior to the 2014 season worth $16MM, including $8MM in guaranteed money. As a result, the 30-year-old (31 in February) is slated to be under contract with Detroit through the end of the 2017 season. Even though Pettigrew is well-compensated by the Lions, he’s certainly hoping for a turnaround as the team has slumped to a 4-9 mark this season.

Pettigrew, who had 71 receptions in 2010 and 83 in 2011, was one of the top tight ends to reach the unrestricted free agent market in the spring of 2014. The Lions successfully outbid the Jets, Raiders, Chiefs, and other clubs interested in his services. In eight games this season, Pettigrew has notched just seven receptions for 67 yards and one score.