The Detroit Lions have already made a number of moves in the last few days. Some of their first moves involved re-signing players like running back Joique Bell and wide receivers Kevin Ogletree and Jeremy Ross. Then most recently they went out into the free agent market and acquired former Seattle Seahawk wide receiver, Golden Tate. Now it seems the Lions have made another move, and that move is re-signing tight end, Brandon Pettigrew.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, was the first to report the news along with the agreed terms that stated that the Lions and Pettigrew had an agreed to four-year, $16 million deal. Soon after, the Lions later confirmed the deal on Twitter.
Now when it comes to this re-signing, I am not surprise because I know for a fact that the Lions do like Pettigrew and I think the main things they gain from him, is experience and versatility.
However, with that being said, this deal between Pettigrew and the Lions can be looked at two different ways. One way is that it is a waste of money, because Pettigrew has shown to be inconsistent during his entire career with the Lions and the Lions would be better off trying to build on their current young tight end, Joseph Fauria. Then the other way to look at this, is the fact that Pettigrew could finally play up to his potential and the Lions end up with a true steal while only playing him four million dollars a year for him.
To start off on positive note, let’s break down the second option, which is if Pettigrew begins to play up to his potential, this re-signing could be a steal for the Lions. Now despite inconsistencies, Pettigrew was one of the top tight ends available on the free agent market and had drawn interest from several teams before re-signing with the Lions. It’s because of the fact that I know that Pettigrew wants to be here in Detroit, which is a good sign. Mainly because as free agent he had the choice to go where he wanted and yet he decided to stay in Detroit, which makes me believe he wants to be part of this team and help them succeed.
Despite his inconsistencies, there is one main thing to like about Pettigrew and that main thing is his versatility and with that versatility comes his willingness to be both a blocker and pass-catching tight end. When it comes Pettigrew, you’re talking about a player who can line up on the line of scrimmage as well as on the outside or in the slot. As a blocker, he has shown his versatility in both pass and run blocking. As receiver, he has shown that he can be a red-zone target at times and that he can make things happen in the open field after the catch.
If your one for stats, for his career, Pettigrew has 284 catches for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns. He recorded back-to-back seasons with 71 and 83 receptions in 2010 and 2011 and last season he finished with 41 catches for 416 yards and two touchdowns. The versatility, experience and overall potential is there for this Pettigrew, the one thing that remains as a big question mark for him is his inconsistent execution on the field.
Which leads me to the negative side of this deal. Like I said earlier, there are two ways to look at this deal. One way is positive, and the other is negative and the negative way to look at this deal is that this move could turnout to be a waste of money, if Pettigrew continues to be an inconsistent piece on this offense.
Above, I mentioned Pettigrew strengths but one of the main negatives about Pettigrew is his inability to take care of the ball and catch the ball. While Pettigrew has impressive stats like 284 passes for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns, he also has six fumbles and 34 drops in his five seasons with the Lions. Last season he had only had 416 yards and two touchdowns, which represented his worst season since his rookie year. Keep in mind that Pettigrew’s lack of success has nothing to do with quarterback Matthew Stafford not targeting him, it has everything to do with Pettigrew not executing and making plays.
If the Lions plan to make him an intricate part of this offense under new offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi, Pettigrew can’t continue to be an inconsistent in those areas.
Overall, I think the Lions made this move because they didn’t want to dive into the small tight end market or pick someone in the draft and because they are not ready to develop Joseph Fauria into an all-around tight end that I believe he is capable of being.
However, I stand by what I said before, which that you can look at this deal in two ways, one way is positive and the other is negative. There is a possibility that Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Pettigrew could combine to help the Lions become an even more explosive offense than they were last season with the combination of Johnson, Burleson and Pettigrew. However, if Pettigrew continues his inconsistency issues with catching and taking care of the ball, then he will be waste of money and he will continue to hinder the Lions instead of help them.
I guess the only thing we can do at this point is wait and see, because only time will tell if this move turns out to be a positive or negative move for the Lions.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit