To make room for new offensive tackle Barry Richardson, the Detroit Lions have decided to release tight end Tony Scheffler. The move was announced on Tuesday afternoon and ends Scheffler's time with his hometown team.
Scheffler joined the Lions back in 2010 when he was dealt to Detroit in a three-team trade. The Lions sent Ernie Sims to the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Denver Broncos sent Scheffler to the Lions. In his first season with Detroit, he caught 45 passes for 378 yards and 1 touchdown. A year later, he caught 26 passes for 347 yards and 6 touchdowns. Last season, Scheffler finished with 42 catches for 504 yards, but he only had 1 touchdown.
This year, with the emergence of Joseph Fauria and Scheffler having problems with drops, it was becoming clear that he wasn't going to factor into the Lions' future plans. Scheffler was in the final year of his contract anyway, and after suffering another concussion earlier in the season, it wasn't even clear if he was going to return at all. Dave Birkett reports that Scheffler was cleared to return from his latest concussion, but the Lions have decided to move on anyway.
With Scheffler out, the Lions currently only have Brandon Pettigrew and Fauria at tight end. They did add Dorin Dickerson last week, but he was released just five days later.