The Detroit Lions added free agent tight end Matt Veldman on Monday, according to a team statement. The move comes after Veldman was cut loose from the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent days to make room for free agent quarterback Mike Kafka.
The Lions already have a solid tandem at tight end wtih Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler providing Matt Stafford with solid pass-catching options. The team also has Michael Williams, Joseph Fauria and Dominique Curry on the roster.
As Sean Yuille of Pride of Detroit notes, a personal connection helped Veldman earn a look from the team:
Veldman has a connection to the Lions in the form of tight ends coach Bobby Johnson. Johnson held the same position in Jacksonville last year, so he got a chance to coach Veldman. Clearly he liked what he saw, and with Veldman being released by the Jaguars last week, the Lions decided to bring him in.
In recent days, Veldman had taken the news of his release hard, but was hoping that another team would pick him up.
"I'm getting over the feel-sorry-for-myself feeling and I'm still in a great position," he told the Jamestown Sun.
Veldman tore his ACL last year after signing with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent. He sat out the entire 2012 season.