The Detroit Lions have added tight end Patrick Murtagh via the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
The NFL has become an international game, with an ever-expanding slate of games overseas. The league has an International Player Pathway program to provide opportunities, and via the program on Thursday morning it was announced the Detroit Lions have signed tight end Patrick Murtagh.
Murtagh is one of eight players added to NFL rosters for 2023 via that program. He is from Australia, and he participated in the league’s international combine last fall. The 23-year-old measures comes in at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, and he is a former track athlete coming from the Aussie Football league.
With that natural learning curve in mind, the Lions will get an additional practice squad exemption to keep Murtagh signed through 2023. He could make the 53-man roster of course, but he will not count against the 90-man roster.
There are currently four players on active NFL rosters from the program–offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles), defensive end Efe Obada (Washington Commanders), fullback Jakob Johnson (Las Vegas Raiders) and defensive tackle David Bada (Washington Commanders).
Detroit Lions take an interesting flier on Australian Patrick Murtagh
International program players were able to showcase their skills.at the South Florida pro day, and that’s where Lions previously got an up-close look at Murtagh. The league allocated international players to the teams in the NFC North and AFC West this year.
According to AmericanFootballInternational.com, Murtagh played Australian rules football for the Gold Coast Suns developmental team and was a track standout who won an Australian state decathlon championship and competed in the triple jump and high jump.
Murtagh told NFL Australia that he discovered the NFL at 10 years old, connecting to the Denver Broncos based on his family’s love for the Brisbane Broncos.
The Lions notably added Sam LaPorta to their tight end depth chart that includes Brock Wright, James Mitchell and Shane Zylstra in the draft. Murtagh is, if nothing else, an interesting addition to the group.