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2015 Detroit Lions roster review: Tight ends

A look back at how the Detroit Lions' tight ends performed in 2015.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

As part of our season wrap-up series, we are going to examine how each player on the roster performed in 2015. Next, let's take a look at the Detroit Lions' tight ends.

Eric Ebron

2015 stats: 14 games (8 starts) | 47 catches, 537 yards, 5 TDs
2016 status: Signed through 2017

While Ebron probably didn't take the big step that most Lions fans wanted, he did drastically improve on his rookie stats, doubling his yardage output and reaching the endzone four more times than he did in 2014. Ebron still has a lot of work to do to reach his draft expectations, but he's heading in the right direction.

Brandon Pettigrew

2015 stats: 8 games (8 starts) | 8 catches, 67 yards, 1 TD
2016 status: Signed through 2017

Pettgirew was the Lions' best blocking tight end in 2015, which turned out to be quite a valuable commodity considering Detroit's offensive tackle problem. Unfortunately, an ACL tear shortened his 2015 campaign. Now the Lions are left with a tough decision. The Lions can cut Pettigrew this offseason and save $2.65 million off the cap, or they can keep him, since their depth chart is woefully thin at tight end.

Tim Wright

2015 stats: 9 games (1 start) | 9 catches, 77 yards, 2 TDs 
2016 status: Restricted free agent

Wright was acquired in a trade with the Buccaneers back in August that sent backup kicker Kyle Brindza to Tampa. The move essentially bumped Joseph Fauria off the roster. Although it provided much needed depth, the trade does not seem to have paid off, as Wright didn't have much of an impact with the Lions despite being healthy all season.

Bear Pascoe

2015 stats: 3 games (0 starts) 
2016 status: Restricted free agent

Pascoe was added to the team after Pettigrew was place on the injured reserve list. Pascoe played in three games this year, mostly to aid in pass protection and run blocking.

Jordan Thompson

2015 stats: 0 games
2016 status: Signed through 2016

Thompson suffered a knee injury in the preseason that had him on injured reserve for the entire season. Thompson spent 2014 on and off the Lions' practice squad as a rookie, but saw the field for two games.

Outlook for 2016

The Lions are going to need some help at the tight end position, as Ebron is the only player truly safe for next year. Detroit made a big mistake when they signed Pettigrew to a 4-year, $16 million extension, and they are now going to be feeling the impact of that. He is not worth the $4.65 million cap hit in 2016, but the Lions may have to swallow it regardless for the lack of any better option. Even if they stick with Pettigrew next season, they will need to make a signing or two to fill out the rest of the depth chart.

Previously: Quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks, wide receivers

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