A veteran tight end who’s not being used has no real place on an 0-8 team, so the Lions have honored Darren Fells’ request to be waived.
Coming out of their Week 9 bye, the 0-8 Detroit Lions have made a roster move. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, at his request, the team will waive veteran tight end Darren Fells.
In seven games for the Lions this season (he was a healthy scratch in Week 8), Fells had four catches for 43 yards on a 32 percent overall offensive snap share (10 percent of the special teams snaps). Undrafted rookie tight end Brock Wright was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad in back-to-back games before the bye, and he was alone as the Lions’ No. 2 tight end in Week 8.
Darren Fells was in line for reduced playing time after the bye
A shift toward younger players is natural for the Lions as they come off their bye. The 35-year old Fells essentially functions as an extra offensive lineman, and the move to Wright as T.J. Hockenson’s primary backup before the bye was writing on the wall. If something could have been gotten for Fells before the trade deadline, even a conditional seventh-round pick, it probably would’ve happened.
Fells, who spent the 2017 season with the Lions, came back on a one-year deal for the veteran’s mininum last offseason. So as he enters waivers, he’ll be incredibly cheap for another team to claim.
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Rapoport’s classification of Fells as an “interesting option for tight end-needy teams” reeks of company line/agent speak laced into the news of the release. But it’s not surprising he asked to be let go, and good on the Lions for allowing Fells a chance to move on.