Dan Campbell on cutting 17-year Lions veteran Don Muhlbach on his 40th birthday: 'I'm an a**hole'
For Detroit Lions rookie head coach Dan Campbell this week, that meant cutting a 17-year team veteran and former teammate. Campbell told reporters on Tuesday that the Lions were releasing long snapper Don Muhlbach, who'd played 260 games for the Lions since joining the NFL as a rookie in 2004. Campbell informed Muhlbach of the decision earlier in the day — which just so happened to be his 40th birthday. "There’s no way to sugarcoat that,"For Detroit Lions rookie head coach Dan Campbell this week, that meant cutting a 17-year team veteran and former teammate.
The kicking situation was so bad that the Detroit Lions punted on the position, at least when it came to setting their initial 53-man roster.
The Lions released kickers Randy Bullock and Zane Gonzalez on Tuesday, leaving them with no kickers currently under contract.
Both Bullock and Gonzalez, who signed in mid-August, struggled during training camp practices, and the Lions now will look for a replacement on the waiver wire.
Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
Rookie Jake Verity, who was waived by the Baltimore Ravens, and veteran Michael Badgley, who was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers, are two possibilities.
Patriots roster cuts tracker: Recap, instant analysis, and more
Related: 80 thoughts on the Patriots’ 80-man roster at the end of campTo not get lost in all the craziness, make sure to bookmark and regularly visit this New England Patriots cutdown tracker. We will compile all the latest news, rumors and instant analysis here, and also count down to how many more players will have to go in order for the team to bring its squad under the regular-season threshold.
NFL ROSTER CUT TRACKER: Updates on big-name players who were released
The Lions, who have experienced extreme stability at the kicker position for most of the past four decades — Eddie Murray, Jason Hanson and Matt Prater held the job for 40 of the past 41 years — are expected to be active churning the back end of their roster at positions other than kicker when waiver claims are awarded Wednesday.
They have just two tight ends and eight offensive linemen currently on their roster, but will re-sign some of Tuesday's cuts to the practice squad.
"I think what needs to be remembered here is (just because a player makes the initial 53-man roster) does not mean that this is who we’re riding with all the way through the season," Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday. "There’s going to be some guys that are going to be on our team that aren’t even in the building yet. That’s probably going to happen. There’s a good chance that can happen."
NFL cuts tracker 2021: Live roster news, updates, notable cuts for all 32 teams
Sporting News is tracking the NFL's roster cuts as teams reduce their roster sizes from 80 to 53 ahead of the regular season. That means that roughly 864 players will find themselves without work, even if it's just temporary. Most of the players cut were fighting for practice squad spots, so their respective releases will not be surprising. However, every year there are a few unexpected cuts that catch NFL fans off guard. Last year, a couple of running backs — Adrian Peterson and Leonard Fournette — were cut by Washington and Jacksonville respectively. Both found work shortly thereafter.
The Lions made 20 moves in all Tuesday, cutting 18 players, placing Jashon Cornell on the reserve/suspended list and trading for receiver Trinity Benson. They will free up an addition roster spot Wednesday when they place quarterback Tim Boyle (broken thumb) on injured reserve.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.
New England Patriots cheerleaders perform during an NFL preseason football game between the New England Patriots and the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 in Foxborough, Mass.
Cheerleaders perform during the second half of a preseason NFL football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Las Vegas Raiders Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) ORG XMIT: SOFI301
Miami Dolphins cheerleaders perform on the field as the Atlanta Falcons take on the Miami Dolphins during a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray) ORG XMIT: NYOTK
If you enjoy talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders. Do the right thing, sign up now!
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell's initial 53-man roster includes no kickers