October 7, 2012: Pittsburgh, PA, USA: Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham (6) is congratulated by teammates Drew Butler (9) and Greg Warren (60) after Suisham hit a 34-yard field goal to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 16-14 at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Add Punter Ahead of Training Camp

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Minor roster moves will be common during training camp. In fact, the Detroit Lions have already started to churn the bottom of their 90-man offseason roster before the veterans even report.

Today, the Lions signed punter Drew Butler and the release of safety Gabe Lynn. Per a team press release:

The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed free agent P Drew Butler and released S Gabe Lynn. Additional contract terms were not disclosed.

Butler joins the Lions special teams unit after spending time with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012) and most recently, the Chicago Bears (2013). An undrafted free agent out of Georgia, Butler last played in an NFL game in 2012 with the Steelers, when he appeared in 16 games and tallied 77 punts (3,374 yards) for a net average of 37.8 yards, and had 26 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Competition for incumbent Sam Martin? Doubtful.

Remember, even when Jason Hanson was entrenched as the Lions kicker in the prime of his career, the Lions carried a second kicker during training camp. This isn’t about competition for Martin, this is about affording him a rest from time to time during camp.

Martin admits to ups-and-downs during his rookie season but the Lions punting unit was improved overall. If there was any doubt as to Martin’s status entering his second year, the Lions would have signed another punter much earlier in the offseason. Don Muhlbach was the only Lions player without a backup during OTAs.

Butler gives the Lions an additional leg to take some of the punting load in practice and preseason games. The Lions also benefit from an up close look should they need to replace Martin due to injury during the season.

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