Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew (87) celebrates with wide receiver Kris Durham (18) after catching a pass in the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Detroit Lions Bring Back Brandon Pettigrew?

Martin Mayhew said today that the Detroit Lions’ plan to get a deal done to bring Brandon Pettigrew back to Detroit next season and that if all else fails, the franchise tag is still an option.

SideLion Report’s Zac Snyder has done a great job breaking down each positional group for the Lions based on their 2013 play and the numbers aren’t good for Pettigrew.

Regarded as a “great” run blocker, Pettigrew finished just 48th in the NFL overall compared to Joseph Fauria’s 12th overall. As a pass catcher, Pettigrew has been unreliable with a career drop rate of 11.53%.

With numbers like that one has to think why the Lions would entertain the idea of bringing Pettigrew back without letting the market dictate his price tag first. Although the incumbent tight end looks like a guy the Lions should let walk, the fact remains that the Lions really don’t know what they’ve got behind him.

Yes, Joseph Fauria finished better as a run blocker, but he also blocked less. Seventh round pick Michael Williams should be a good blocker, but he hasn’t played a regular season game yet thanks to injury, and despite Fauria’s success as a red zone target the fact remains that he is still an average target at best driving the length of the field.

My thoughts in regards to retaining Pettigrew was to let the market dictate his price and act accordingly. I wouldn’t sign him to a deal longer than two or three years if the asking price was right. If he walked, there are high-quality tight ends in the draft that could be had after the first round, like Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Or, the Lions could opt to develop the talent on the roster and add another piece at some point in the draft.

Whatever value the Lions think they have with Pettigrew just doesn’t show up on paper, but one thing is for sure, when Pettigrew is playing at a high level he is very valuable. Perhaps the front office feels that the new coaching staff can get the most out of a player who has been maddeningly inconsistent for the entirety of his career.

Should the Detroit Lions Bring Back Brandon Pettigrew?

  • No (64%, 69 Votes)
  • Yes (36%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 108

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Tags: Brandon Pettigrew Detroit Lions NFL Free Agency

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