It's been a little over 24 hours since the Lions and the other 31 NFL teams had to get their rosters down to 53 men. Those cut go on waivers and can be claimed by teams based on how they did last year... the Lions ranked 2nd (worst). Basically, anyone the Lions want they can put a claim in for and as long as the Rams don't also pick the guy the Lions will get him. Trick is, for every player claimed one would have to be cut (and that player goes on waivers until 24 hours later).
So, what happened to the Lions roster today?
First, they cut Dennis Northcutt and claimed on waivers Former Packers TE/LB Spencer Havner. He was actually claimed by three teams -- Detroit, Seattle, Tennessee. The Lions were awarded the claim.
Havner is a backup TE and backup LB. Kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Northcutt made the team due to his punt return abilities (in my opinion) but last nights' trade for Alphonso Smith made him expendable (Alphonso can also return punts).
As TimT in my forum posted. Think of Havner as the 7th LB / 4th TE / 2nd FB. Or, an HB that can cover the linebacker position in an emergency.
The Lions also cut LB Rocky Boiman.
Lions claimed former Steelers WR/KR Stefan Logan
As was tweeted by RyanJSteck...
Stefan Logan averaged 26.7yds on KR (55 rtns 1,466yds) -- & 9.3yds on PR (30 rtns 280 yds) in all 16 games with the Steelers last season.
Now I may have the order of the cuts backwards, but this is the order things were divulged so I stuck with it.
What does the trade for Smith and todays' waiver claims of Havner and especially Logan mean? The Lions are working on improving special teams and bottom of the roster depth. Not in a small way either. They actually have a legitimate kick returner and guys who will help the team win.
I managed to get something right... the Lions put in two waiver claims (I blogged that last night). I also got it totally wrong... the Lions put in two claims, they were for a TE and WR, not two defensive guys - though one can play LB in a pinch.
I also now have to rearrange my bottom of the roster now... the next to go if defense is probably DB Wendling... if offense, it would appear that WR Derrick Williams may be the most expendable or as an alternate RB Maurice Morris.
The Lions probably aren't done yet either. There are those players cut to make room for waiver pickups today that they might claim someone from... and as far as aged veterans go, anytime after game 1 they may be picked up since at that time their entire years' salary won't be guaranteed.
Other teams are already making their lists of vets they plan to acquire after game 1, you can bet the Lions have a list to consider as well. The game against Chicago will determine if anyone is expendable for one of those on that list.