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Lions’ Caldwell: Quarless ‘worth second chance’

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Andrew Quarless

Allen Park – While Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn appeared to violate his zero-tolerance stance on players involved in violent weapons issues by signing tight end Andrew Quarless Monday, coach Jim Caldwell preached the value of second chances.

“I can only tell you this, and I don’t know how many times I’ve said it before, but I think it’s worth repeating, I certainly believe in second chances,” Caldwell said. “We do our due diligence and I think the young man is worth a second chance.

“Doesn’t mean we’re always right, but we’re happy to have him.”

Quarless is facing a two-game suspension to start this season stemming from a July 2015 incident outside a Miami Beach night club. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm in a public place and was sentenced to one year probation, plus community service, anger management and gun safety classes.

The Lions, facing a decimated depth chart at tight end due to injuries, reached out to Quarless’ representation in recent days. They brought him in to the team’s facility, where he said he had face-to-face meetings with a number of people, including Quinn, Caldwell and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Lions bend zero-tolerance policy to sign Quarless

Quarless declined to comment on the nature of the conversations, but repeatedly characterized them as “genuine” and “truthful.”

Asked if he wanted to respond to things being said about him, Quarless said you can’t stop people from passing judgement.

“You can judge anybody,” he said. “You have to look in the mirror first, before you judge anybody. It’s something I’m moving forward from. I’ve taken the steps to move forward, progressively.”

Caldwell declined to characterize the signing as one of necessity.

“There’s no dire situation, or anything of that nature,” he said. “We just look to improve our team and get as we possibly can.”

Quarless missed a large chunk of the 2015 campaign with a knee injury. The two previous seasons he averaged 31 receptions for 318 yards.