Don Muhlbach

Lions Re-Sign LS Don Muhlbach

A Lion since midway through the franchise’s Matt Millen era, Don Muhlbach agreed to come back for an 18th season with the team.

The Lions have again re-signed their longtime long snapper. Muhlbach, who will turn 40 in August, has played on one-year deals worth the veteran minimum for the past eight years. It seems unlikely this contract will break the trend. He made $1.05MM in base salary last season; that is firmly in the well-defined long snapper tax bracket.

Muhlbach suited up for 16 games last season, moving his career total up to 260. While that ranks in the top 10 all time for games with one franchise, it interestingly is not No. 1 in Lions history. Jason Hanson‘s 327 games are the most any NFLer has played with one team. Muhlbach snapped to the since-retired kicker for nine seasons.

The enduring former UDFA will play under a sixth head coach next season (Dan Campbell), should he make the Lions’ 53-man roster. Muhlbach’s most recent camp challenger, Steven Wirtel, is now with the Rams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Re-Sign LS Don Muhlbach

Don Muhlbach is returning to Detroit for a 17th season. The team announced today that they’ve re-signed the veteran long snapper.

While terms of the deal aren’t known, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein assumes that it’s a minimum-salary pact. Muhlbach has played the past few seasons under this kind of deal.

The 38-year-old has made all 244 of his career appearance with the Lions, and he’s only missed a single game since the start of the 2006 season. As Josh Alper of points out, Muhlbach is second in franchise history in games played (behind kicker Jason Hanson). The long snapper earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods (2012, 2018) during his career.

As Rothstein notes, the long snapper will some have competition for the gig in 2020. The organization signed James Fisher to a futures contract earlier this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Re-Sign LS Don Muhlbach

The Lions announced re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach, according to a press release. This has become something of a yearly tradition for the team as Muhlbach has been routinely retained on short-term deals.

Muhlbach first joined the Lions as a free agent in the 2004 season. He’ll now return for his 16th season with the club. He’s just one of three players in franchise history to play 15 seasons for the club and has appeared in the second-most career games with 228.

Last year, Mulhbach earned his second-career Pro Bowl, a significant personal achievement after a woeful season for the franchise.

Kicker Jason Hanson holds the Lions’ all-time record with 327 games played, so the 37-year-old Muhlbach is unlikely to take the crown unless he plays into his mid-40s.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/15/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • After originally non-tendering him as a restricted free agent, the Packers have re-signed linebacker Jordan Tripp, reports Aaron Nagler of (Twitter link). Green Bay picked up Tripp, 25, last December after he was waived by Seattle, and he ultimately appeared in the final two games of the season for the club. The lowest restricted free agent tender is worth $1.797MM, so Tripp presumably re-signed for a figure cheaper than that total.
  • The Packers have also re-signed exclusive rights free agent fullback Joe Kerridge, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Kerridge, 24, appeared in eight games last season, but was most a special teams player, as he only rushed a single time.
  • The Lions have re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach, the club announced today. It’s a one-year deal, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Muhlbach has been Detroit since 2004, and is No. 25 among active players in career appearances (196). The Lions used a sixth-round pick on fellow long snapper Jimmy Landes in the 2016 draft, and now that he’s recovered from shoulder surgery, Landes figures to compete with Muhlbach for the job, per Birkett. Detroit ranked sixth in special teams DVOA last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/3/17

Friday’s minor moves…

  • The Steelers placed an original round tender on restricted free agent cornerback Ross Cockrell, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of (on Twitter). A fourth-round pick of the Bills in 2014, Cockrell has started the last two years for Pittsburgh and is now free negotiate with other teams. However, the Steelers reserve the right to match any offer. Cockrell is slated to play 2017 on the low tender, which should be worth roughly $1.8MM.
  • The Packers are bringing back punter Jake Schum, an exclusive rights free agent (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of He will take his physical and sign next week.
  • The Lions have re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach to a one-year deal, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The Vikings will retain exclusive rights free agent tackle Jeremiah Sirles for $690K, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

Lions Cut Several Players

The Lions are inching closer to the 75-man limit in advance of the Tuesday deadline. On Monday, the Lions announced that the following players have been dropped:

The Lions have also placed rookie long snapper Jimmy Landes on injured reserve. That means Don Muhlbach will likely continue to serve as the Lions’ long snapper.

Earlier today, the Lions also released offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, meaning that they have shed ten players from the roster today. With today’s transactions, the Lions roster currently stands at 78 players.

Extra Points: Bradford, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Lions

Given quarterback Sam Bradford‘s unhappiness in Philadelphia, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk examined the seemingly far-fetched possibility of the 28-year-old retiring – at least temporarily. Bradford would have to surrender the $11MM signing bonus he received from the Eagles earlier this offseason if he were to walk away, but he would offset that loss somewhat by avoiding any fines or forfeitures that would accompany a potential holdout.

The appeal of retiring from Bradford’s point of view is that he could wait for another team’s starting quarterback to suffer an injury, whether it be this year or in 2017, thus leading that club to approach the Eagles about a trade. It would be similar to the situation Carson Palmer found himself in five years ago as a disgruntled member of the Bengals. Early in the 2011 season, the Raiders lost starter Jason Campbell to an injury and then made a trade with the Bengals to bring Palmer out of his short-lived retirement.

Most teams’ starting quarterback situations are set right now, and the Eagles haven’t shown a willingness to move Bradford in the wake of trading up to No. 2 in the draft for Carson Wentz and signing Chase Daniel, so Florio opines that retirement could be his most sensible option.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • There was potential for a New York-New York trade in the first round of last week’s draft, according to the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers, who reports that the Jets offered their first- (20th overall) and second-rounders to the Giants for No. 10. The Jets had their sights set on Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, but the Giants didn’t want to move down and risk losing out on Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. Had the Giants accepted the Jets’ offer, they would have either taken TCU wideout Josh Doctson or the best cornerback available (likely Houston’s William Jackson III) at No. 20, per Myers. Doctson ultimately went 22nd to Washington and Jackson landed with the Bengals two picks later. Meanwhile, instead of nabbing Tunsil, the Jets kept their top two picks and used them on Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
  • The Falcons are currently mulling whether to sign free agent cornerback Leon Hall, who visited them this week, reports Vaughn McClure of Hall would add depth to a Falcons defensive backfield in need of it, especially given the four-game suspension the league handed Jalen Collins, as McClure writes. The ex-Michigan standout’s entire NFL career has thus far been spent in Cincinnati, where he totaled 26 interceptions from 2007-15, though it doesn’t appear he’ll return to the Bengals. Aside from the Falcons, Hall has also visited the Giants, Cardinals and Cowboys this offseason, but his age (31) and injury history (he has torn both Achilles) are seemingly working against him in landing a contract.
  • With the draft in the books, Kyle Meinke of took a look at six Lions veterans whose jobs could now be in jeopardy. Meinke points to quarterback Dan Orlovsky, center Travis Swanson, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive tackle Gabe Wright and long snapper Don Muhlbach as players who aren’t locks to remain in the Motor City.

NFC Contract Details: Ayers, Shelby, Perry

Here are a few of the latest contract details from around the NFC on recently agreed-upon and signed deals. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

NFC South:

  • Robert Ayers, DE (Buccaneers): Three years, $19.5MM. $10.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM roster bonus due on March 16. $2MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. $1MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2018 league year. $550K annually in sacks incentives (Twitter links).
  • Derrick Shelby, DE (Falcons): Four years, $18MM. $7.5MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. Annual $1MM base escalator from 2017 to 2019 (Twitter links).
  • Matt Schaub, QB (Falcons): One year, $1.75MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $1MM in playing-time and 53-man roster incentives (Twitter link).

NFC East:

  • Tress Way, P (Washington): Five years, $7.8MM. $2.35MM guaranteed. $1.25MM signing bonus. Up to $400K in annual escalators from 2017 to 2020 (Twitter link via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post).
  • Nigel Bradham, LB (Eagles): Two years, $7MM. $4.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $500K base escalator for 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Kyle WIlber, LB (Cowboys): Two years, $3.25MM. $1MM signing bonus. $1MM playing-time incentive (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Washington): One year, minimum salary benefit. $35K signing bonus. $45K bonus for being on 53-man roster for first game (Twitter link).

NFC North:

  • Nick Perry, OLB (Packers): One year, $5MM. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2.3MM base salary. Up to $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses. $200K workout bonus. Up to $250K in incentives (Twitter links via Wilson and Rob Demovsky of
  • Marcus Sherels, CB (Vikings): Two years, $4MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due on March 16. $100K in annual punt return average incentives. $50K annual Pro Bowl incentive (Twitter links).
  • Rafael Bush, S (Lions): One year, $2.4MM. $250K signing bonus. $250K in per-game roster bonuses. Up to $900K in playing-time bonuses (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Don Muhlbach, LS (Lions): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Jermaine Gresham, TE (Cardinals): One year, $3.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $500K in per-game active roster bonuses. $500K in incentives for stats, playing time (Twitter link).

Lions Retain Crezdon Butler, Don Muhlbach

The Lions opted to keep reserve cornerback Crezdon Butler and long snapper Don Muhlbach, according to the team’s website. Contract terms were not disclosed.

Butler’s ventured to several NFL destinations since arriving in the NFL as a Steelers fifth-rounder in 2010. The 29-year-old corner served as secondary depth for Detroit, which lost now-retired Rashean Mathis, for the season. He’s played for eight teams and suited up in 45 games, making three starts — all for the Buccaneers in 2014.

Butler spent training camp with the Lions in 2015 before rejoining the team midseason after spending time with the Seahawks.

Muhlbach has been the Lions’ specialty snapper since 2004. Only the seventh player to play in 180 games for the Lions, Muhlbach is the team’s longest-tenured player by a wide margin now that Calvin Johnson announced his retirement.