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Report: Packers, Vikings among 4 teams to put in a claim for former Lions DE Anthony Zettel

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The Lions just barely avoided seeing their former defensive end go to a division rival.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the Cleveland Browns were awarded former Detroit Lions defensive end Anthony Zettel off of waivers. The Browns, having finished last in the NFL in 2017, had top waiver priority of all teams, so even if anyone else had put in a claim for Zettel, the Browns would get him.

And that left Lions fans wondering: Were there any other teams interested in adding Zettel? We now have our answer, thanks to ESPN’s Field Yates.

According to Yates, a total of four teams put in a claim for Zettel: the Browns, Chargers, Packers and Vikings.

It’s those last two teams that are the most interesting of the bunch. Had Zettel, who was very popular in Detroit, gone to a division rival, some fans would’ve been inconsolable. It’s also interesting to see that the Vikings were in on Zettel, because Minnesota’s defensive line is already pretty darn strong. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen combine to form one of the best starting defensive end duos in the league. However, Zettel would probably be in the mix for a depth position. Backups Stephen Weatherly (seventh-round pick in 2016) and Tashawn Bower (undrafted in 2017) have combined for just 1.0 total sacks.

As for the Packers, had the Browns not put in a claim, they would’ve been awarded Zettel due to their 13th spot in the priority list (based on last year’s standings). It would have been interesting to see how Green Bay would’ve used him in their 3-4 base defense.

Regardless, Zettel went to the Browns, where he’ll be out of the Lions’ hair for years to come. We wish him well over in the AFC.