On Saturday, I asked Pride of Detroit readers to give me their darkhorse predictions for the 2017 roster cuts. I thought I was bold in predicting Corey Robinson would be magically taken off the PUP list. Others thought Tion Green making the roster was a long-shot they were willing to bet on.
Turns out we were both making not-so-bold predictions. Robinson is off PUP and could even be active this week, and Green made it as the fifth receiver on the 53-man roster.
But that wasn’t where the surprises ended. Antwione Williams didn’t make the roster, despite the Lions keeping six linebackers on the roster and another one on the practice squad. Brad Kaaya shockingly didn’t pass through waivers to join Detroit’s practice squad, and instead is currently on the Carolina Panthers’ 53-man squad. The Lions also failed to add defensive line help all weekend. Instead they settled on adding a couple of offensive lineman, one of which got this review from an analyst who covers his former team:
So today’s Question of the Day is:
What was the biggest roster surprise for you over the weekend?
My answer: While the Antwione Williams’ fall from grace was certainly the most surprising of the Lions’ choices, I’m still a little shocked Brad Kaaya was claimed off waivers. I know we’re in desperate times in the NFL and teams will do funny things for quarterbacks, but I just didn’t expect any team to claim a project like Kaaya to be on their 53-man roster.
It’s clear the Lions weren’t expecting this either, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press said Kaaya was expected to join Detroit’s the practice squad when he cleared waivers.
I understand the Panthers’ desire for a developmental quarterback. After all, backup Derek Anderson just turned 34 years old. However, there are options like Kaaya all around the league, most of which don’t need to be put directly on your 53-man roster.
But clearly the Panthers saw something in Kaaya that the Lions didn’t, and that throws a minor wrench into Detroit’s plans. It’s not like third-string quarterback is a high priority for the Lions, but it’s still inconvenient to have that option off the table.