Detroit Lions sign veteran tight end who once flashed potential
On Thursday, the Detroit Lions signed veteran tight end Sean McGrath, a 30-year old who once had a nice run with the Kansas City Chiefs.
All offseason, the topic of tight end has been a hot one for the Detroit Lions. After losing both of their top players at the position from last season, Eric Ebron was released in mid-March and Darren Fells left via free agency, the Lions suddenly had major voids to fill on their depth chart.
The Lions went about the business of filling those holes by signing veteran free agent tight ends Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo earlier this year. Combined with second-year tight end Michael Roberts, who was a fourth round pick in 2017, Detroit will be heading into training camp with major questions to answer.
One way the Lions can try and get the most out of the position is by throwing in more competition. And they did just that on Thursday, signing free agent veteran Sean McGrath. The veteran tight end, who is best known for his massive beard, comes in to a very favorable situation in Detroit where a breakout out performance this summer could earn someone the starting nod.
The 30-year old McGrath has been buried on NFL depth charts ever since entering the league as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Henderson State back in 2012. He spent most of his rookie season on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad before getting called up for four games in late December, two contests in the regular season and two in the playoffs.
In 2013, McGrath joined the Kansas City Chiefs. That gave the 6-foot-5, 259 pound blocking tight end a chance to shine as a receiver. Due to injuries to both Travis Kelce and Anthony Fasano that year, McGrath went on an early four-game run where he recorded a combined 15 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. He would end his second season in the NFL recording 26 receptions for 302 yards and two scores.
Check out this highlight reel-worthy play of McGrath making a crazy 23-yard catch in double coverage.
The following year, McGrath decided to retire in order to pursue a graduate degree in art. He returned to the NFL in 2015 and has since played for both the Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Chargers since. In the last three seasons combined, McGrath has recorded a total of six receptions for 71 yards in 29 regular game appearances (11 starts).
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By signing Sean McGrath on Thursday, the Detroit Lions add more experience to a room full of hungry veterans preparing for training camp. Plus, they take a flier on a tight end that once flashed potential as a receiving threat in spot duty.