Allen Park — The Detroit Lions have waived veteran tight end Brandon Pettigrew, three days after the team transferred him from the physically unable to perform to the non-football injury list.
The team declined to comment on the nature of Pettigrew’s condition, but his locker was cleaned out and name plate removed on Wednesday, indicating he had little time remaining with the organization.
The Lions grabbed Pettigrew in the first round of the 2009 draft with a selection acquired from the Dallas Cowboys, part of a package of picks the Lions received in exchange for wide receiver Roy Williams the season before.
In eight seasons with the Lions, Pettigrew appeared in 93 games, starting 85. He was a critical weapon for Matthew Stafford early in his career, averaging 64 receptions from 2010-13.
But Pettigrew’s role in the passing game sharply declined after the team drafted Eric Ebron in 2013. The past two seasons, Pettigrew caught just 17 passes for 137 yards and one touchdown in 22 games.
Pettigrew hadn’t played this season after tearing his ACL last December. It’s the third time he’s suffered the injury – once in college and again during his rookie year with the Lions.
There was a year remaining on Pettigrew’s contract. By releasing him, the Lions will save $4.35 million in cap space for 2017. A $1 million cap charge will remain, a prorated portion from his 2013 signing bonus.