Detroit Lions: Drew Butler

Most significant move: By cutting kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, the Lions ended their kicking competition by settling on rookie Nate Freese from Boston College. Detroit coach Jim Caldwell continually called this a tight competition. However, Freese always worked with the first team and was the first kicker out in all three preseason games. Tavecchio had the more consistent camp of the two players, but Detroit invested a seventh-round draft pick in Freese. He may be Detroit’s kicker for now and could end up as its kicker throughout the season, but another miss or two and the team might want to consider the free-agent wire, including recently released Jay Feely from Arizona.

Defensive backfield getting settled: Detroit released corners Jonte Green and Aaron Hester and sent safety DeJon Gomes to injured reserve on Monday, giving some clarity to their secondary. Green was a somewhat surprising cut since it seemed like the team might at least keep him around until Saturday’s final cuts, but Chris Greenwood clearly beat him out. The questions in the secondary is now how many corners and safeties the team takes and whether it looks at a sixth corner (likely Greenwood) or a fifth safety (either Isa Abdul-Quddus or Jerome Couplin). Those will be two situations to watch Thursday night.

What’s next: The Lions will probably search the waiver wire for secondary help, maybe take a look at a receiver or kicking options. Otherwise, they play Buffalo on Thursday and make final cuts Saturday.

Lions moves: Cut CB Jonte Green, CB Aaron Hester, FB Chad Abram, K Giorgio Tavecchio, P Drew Butler, QB James Franklin, OG Alex Bullard, OL A.J. Dalton, DT Gregory Hickman, RB Steven Miller, DE Kris Redding and WR Conner Vernon. Moved S DeJon Gomes to injured reserve. Moved WR TJ Jones to PUP/reserve.

Lions signing punter Butler

July, 25, 2014
7/25/14
4:10
PM ET
The Detroit Lions are bringing in another leg for training camp.

Citing a league source, ESPN colleague Adam Schefter reports that the team is signing punter Drew Butler. Butler played at Georgia and was with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012 and 2013.

It would appear Sam Martin's job is safe after a strong rookie season and that the Lions are merely adding another camp leg, but Butler has experience.

When Jeremy Kapinos was injured in 2012, Butler won the job for the Steelers and had a gross punting average of 43.8 yards and a net of 38.3 yards.

The next season, Butler initially made the Steelers but was cut when Zoltan Mesko became available in September. Butler was briefly with the Chicago Bears this offseason but was released in May.

Through a source, Schefter said the Lions signed Butler over Steven Clark and Kirby Vandercamp.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Lions released Gabe Lynn in a corresponding move.

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