With offseason workouts coming a close, the Detroit Lions are looking to set up their roster for next month’s training camp. On Thursday, the team made a minor move at the bottom of the tight end depth chart. The Lions signed former Chargers tight end Sean McGrath, while releasing Wes Saxton.
McGrath is a five-year NFL veteran, having spent time on the Seahawks, Chiefs and Chargers roster. His best year came in 2013, when he caught 26 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns in Kansas City.
Interestingly enough, after that successful season McGrath retired from football, stating his heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
“When we had that little break before summer camp, it kind of gave me a chance to step back and re-evaluate where I was at in my life,” McGrath said at the time, per Chiefs Digest. ”I just didn’t have the spark in me; I didn’t have the drive to really do it.”
However, McGrath returned to football in 2015, and spent three years with the Chargers, playing mostly special teams. He only has six catches in his past two seasons, but his special teams value has made him a steady contributor with the Chargers (he played in all but one game over the past two years).
McGrath will have to put those special team talents on display if he plans on beating out his competition in a crowded tight end room. The Lions overhauled their roster at that position, letting their top two tight ends from 2017—Eric Ebron and Darren Fells—hit free agency. McGrath will have to somehow beat out the likes of Luke Willson, Michael Roberts and Levine Toilolo, among others.
As for Wes Saxton, the 24 year old spent just 10 days on the roster before being cut. Such is the life of an NFL journeyman.