The Detroit Lions made a surprise add to their tight end depth on Tuesday, signing Devin Funchess.
The Detroit Lions had a couple spots to fill on their 90-man roster between now and the start of training camp. On Tuesday, they filled one of the spots with a recognizable name. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions have signed wide receiver Devin Funchess.
Per Schefter and other reports, the Lions will list Funchess as a tight end.
Funchess, a Detroit native and former Michigan Wolverine, was a second-round pick (No. 41 overall) of the Carolina Panthers in 2015. He last played an NFL regular season game in 2019 with the Indianapolis Colts. A fractured clavicle in the season opener cost him the rest of that season.
Funchess signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2020, but he opted out of that season due to the pandemic. His contract tolled to last season, and the Packers placed him on IR with a hamstring injury and released him last August. He spent a bit of time on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad later last season.
Devin Funchess’ last chance in the NFL is as a tight end
Funchess is a bigger receiver (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), and speed was never his game (4.7 40 at the NFL Combine). So some NFL teams have considered him a tight end from the moment he entered the league.
Funchess had the best year of his career was in 2017 with Carolina, when he had 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 21 touchdowns over his four seasons with the Panthers, with at least four in each campaign.
Behind T.J. Hockenson, the Lions lack proven commodities on the tight end depth chart. Funchess will join a battle for roster spots that includes Garrett Griffin, Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra, James Mitchell and Derrick Deese Jr.
Funchess has played more NFL games (62) than all of above guys, save for Hockenson, combined.
Approaching three years since he last played an NFL regular season game, all Funchess can ask for is a shot. The Lions will give him one, presumably with a decent chance to earn a roster spot during camp and preseason games.