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Lions release TE Andrew Quarless

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In a surprise move, the Lions have already moved on from Andrew Quarless.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Detroit Lions signed tight end Andrew Quarless, it was met with a bevy of criticism. Just days before the signing, Quarless had been handed a two-game suspension for a gun-related charge stemming from a 2015 incident. Bob Quinn had professed a zero-tolerance policy on acquiring players with gun or domestic violence charges in his first day as general manager.

Now, as Quarless is due back from his suspension, the Lions have cut ties with the tight end.

This move is unexpected for several reasons. First, the Lions’ tight end situation is far from ideal at this point. Rookie Cole Wick missed last game due to an injury, meaning Khari Lee, who was claimed off of waivers less than two weeks ago, got the majority of playing time behind Eric Ebron. The only other tight end on the 53-man roster is Orson Charles, who has yet to earn any playing time with the offense this offseason.

Quarless was expected to bring experience in both blocking and receiving to this tight end crew that was lacking in both.

Additionally, it’s surprising to see the Lions give up on Quarless after they took so much heat for signing him in the first place. In the end, the media criticism amounts to nothing, but it’s still strange to see them willingly take on that for a player they clearly weren’t that impressed with.

Nevertheless, this could be good news for Brandon Pettigrew, who will remain on the PUP until at least Week 7, or maybe this is a sign that the Lions were happy with the play of Lee against the Titans. Either way, this is a puzzling move at the moment.