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Lions to release Nate Freese, sign Alex Henery

The Detroit Lions are finally making a change at kicker. Nate Freese is out, and Alex Henery is in.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Detroit Lions' patience with Nate Freese has officially run out. After the rookie kicker missed another field goal on Sunday -- this time a 41-yard attempt -- the Lions decided that it was time to make a change. As a result, the Lions are planning to release Freese and sign free agent Alex Henery, according to Dave Birkett.

When the Lions drafted Freese in the seventh round this year, the hope was that he would lock down the kicker role for the foreseeable future. However, Freese got off to a shaky start in training camp, and by all accounts he was really outperformed by Giorgio Tavecchio. The Lions stuck with Freese anyway, but after starting his career 3-for-7 on field goals and showing no confidence beyond 40 yards, they had to make a change.

Henery, who went to Nebraska, is set to join the Lions as Freese's replacement after working out for the team last week. He was the Philadelphia Eagles' kicker from 2011-13, and his career numbers look like this:

2011: 24-for-27 (88.9%), long of 51 yards
2012: 27-for-31 (87.1%), long of 49 yards
2013: 23-for-28 (82.1%), long of 51 yards

The Eagles decided to go in a different direction at kicker this year, but at least Henery has shown an ability to consistently make field goals in the NFL. Freese wasn't able to do that, and that's why the Lions decided to make a change at kicker.

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