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Monday, August 25, 2014
Lions cut Giorgio Tavecchio

By Michael Rothstein
ESPN.com

The Detroit Lions have ended their kicking competition and settled on their draft pick.

Giorgio Tavecchio
Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was waived by the Lions.

The team waived kicker Giorgio Tavecchio on Monday morning, meaning the Lions will go with seventh-round draft pick Nate Freese as their kicker for 2014, at least for now.

Freese, out of Boston College, had been perfect on field goals during his final college season (20-of-20) but struggled intermittently during training camp, including a missed extra point against Oakland in the second preseason game. In that same game, he made a 55-yard field goal.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell continually called the competition close, but Freese spent the whole camp working with punter Sam Martin, who is also the team's holder.

Detroit also waived punter Drew Butler and quarterback James Franklin on Monday morning as well as Jonte Green, Chad Abram and Aaron Hester. DeJon Gomes was placed on injured reserve.

Butler never really had a shot at making the roster, as Martin remains one of the top young punters in the league. Franklin was signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri but never really seemed to acclimate himself well to Detroit's offense.

Franklin did not take many snaps during practice and saw no action in the first three preseason games.

Cutting Franklin likely means Kellen Moore will see a lot of action during Detroit's preseason finale against Buffalo on Thursday.

These cuts leave Detroit's roster at 75 players, not including receiver TJ Jones, who was moved to the reserve/physically unable to perform list on Saturday. The team needs to get down to 75 by 4 p.m. Tuesday.