The Detroit Lions continued to trim their roster down on Monday by releasing three more players, according to ESPN's Michael Rothstein. Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, punter Drew Butler and quarterback James Franklin were let go in this round of cuts, meaning the Lions now have 79 players left on their roster.
Tavecchio's release means that the Lions have picked Nate Freese to be their kicker. Freese and Tavecchio were quite even throughout the preseason, and by all accounts Tavecchio had actually been more consistent during training camp. In the end, though, the Lions opted to hang on to Freese, their seventh-round pick this year. (Tavecchio's missed 51-yard field goal attempt in last week's preseason game was likely the nail in the coffin for his chances of winning the kicker job.)
As for Butler and Franklin, it's no surprise that they have been let go by the Lions. Butler was brought in simply so Sam Martin didn't have to take all of the reps at punter before the season, and Franklin barely even received any snaps at quarterback. When he was first signed, the thinking was that he would compete with Kellen Moore for the third spot at quarterback, but there was never really any competition there.
With the Lions down to 79 players, they have four more moves to make to get down to 75 players before Tuesday afternoon's deadline.