Detroit Lions: 10 Players Who Could Be Gone in 2016

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Nov 15, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew (87) celebrates a touchdown catch during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Detroit won 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Pettigrew

You can’t hold a bad contract against the player but the 4-year, $16 million deal Brandon Pettigrew got from the Lions before the 2014 season was a head scratcher from the beginning.

After hauling in 83 catches in 2011, Pettigrew’s catch total has been on a consistent decline ever since. His ten catches in 2014 was a career low and he has just six receptions with four games to play in 2015. Simply put, Pettigrew is no longer a relevant piece in the offense with a number of better receiving options available.

Pettigrew gets credit – some would argue too much credit – for being an effective run blocker to aid a struggling offensive line. Even chalking that up as a positive for Pettigrew, it doesn’t justify a 2016 cap hit of $4.65 million. A block-first tight end can had for less than half that number.

Pettigrew isn’t owed any additional guaranteed money beyond 2015 so the Lions can get out from under this terrible contract without having to eat any money while freeing $2.65 million in cap space after accounting for dead money.

Next: Joique Bell