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Friday, February 14, 2014
Meet the free agents: TE Matt Veldman

By Michael Rothstein

Every day we'll take a look at one of the Detroit Lions heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team before and a prognosis on whether or not he’ll be back with the club in 2014.

Here's a look at the Meet the Free Agents to date.

Free agent to be: Matt Veldman (Exclusive rights)

Veldman
Position: Tight end

Age: 25

Years in the league: 2

What he made last season: $23,824 (cap number); $405,000 (base salary)

What he did last season: Not much. Veldman was signed to the practice squad in the middle of December and was promoted to the active roster for the final game of the season. He played in that game, but did not catch a pass for the Lions. He played one snap on special teams.

His potential market value: Not much. He was released by the Lions after the preseason and then he latched on with Tampa Bay on its practice squad before returning to Detroit on its practice squad. Right now, he’s a back-of-the-roster player who likely will end up as a camp cut or a practice squad player again.

Will he fit the Lions still: Sure, as a camp player. He won’t be a replacement for Brandon Pettigrew if the Lions don’t bring him back and they have more investment in Joseph Fauria and Michael Williams. He’ll probably be brought back as an exclusive rights player to compete in camp, but could face long strides to make the roster. His height -- 6-foot-7 -- makes him an intriguing player, though.

What happens: As mentioned above, he is an exclusive rights free agent, so it won’t cost much for Detroit to bring him back and let him compete during minicamps and OTAs. He should make it to training camp as well, but barring a massive jump in his play, it is tough to see him owning a roster spot. He could be a candidate for a practice squad place if the Lions decided to go that route.