The Detroit Lions have said all along they value free agent tight end
The team proved that wasn’t just lip service Friday morning by agreeing to terms with Pettigrew to a new 4-year contract worth a reported $16 million.
The deal will keep one of the more versatile tight ends in the league a Lions through the 2017 season.
"I think it's important to have a guy that can block the point of attack," offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said of the tight end position at his introductory press conference last month. "Then you want a guy that can be a pass receiver, so you're always looking for those well-rounded guys.”
Pettigrew caught 41 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns last year. He recorded back-to-back seasons with 71 and 83 receptions, respectively, in 2010 and 2011.
Pettigrew is the best all-around player of the bunch, Fauria is a terrific red-zone weapon, and led the team with seven touchdown catches last year, Williams is a terrific blocker and Veldman can do a little bit of both.
The Lions drafted Pettigrew in the first round (No. 20 overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He’s caught 284 passes for 2,828 yards with 16 touchdowns over his five-year career.