Lions fans should give their general manager Martin Mayhew a round of applause today. Pending both players passing their respective physicals, Detroit traded undrafted rookie kicker Kyle Brindza to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Timothy Wright.
Brindza had a very good preseason in his three appearances for the Lions, as a placekicker, kickoff specialist, as well as punter. Although he was not ultimately going to get a roster spot with the Lions, Mayhew and head coach Jim Caldwell showcased his versatility and were able to get a viable piece to an offensive puzzle.
Wright, who was also an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013 will be entering his third NFL season. He signed with Tampa Bay in April of 2013 and played in all 16 games for the Buccaneers. He caught 54 passes on 74 targets and was the only 2013 rookie tight end to surpass 500 yards, as he totaled 571 yards receiving. He scored five touchdowns.
Last August, Wright was traded to the New England, where he again played in all 16 regular season games, the playoffs, and played in the Patriot’s Super Bowl win over the Seahawks. During the regular season, he caught 26 passes on 33 targets, gaining 259 yards and scoring six touchdowns.
He was claimed by the Buccaneers off waivers this off-season.
I’ve been speculating all preseason that the Lions were showcasing Brindza’s ability in order to trade him for a useful roster piece.
Today, they added a pass-catching tight end, for an undrafted rookie that was simply brought in as a camp body, who became a valuable commodity.
Should the trade become official, Lions tight end Joseph Fauria MAY be the odd man out. Eric Ebron is just beginning his second professional season and was a first-round draft pick. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew is due $2.8 million this year. His roster spot appears to be safe.
If Wright can become an important part of the Lions offense, then Mayhew truly turned nothing into something.