By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced more roster cuts Monday, paring their roster to 75 in advance of Tuesday’s deadline.
The Lions released fullback Chad Abram, punter Drew Butler, cornerbacks Jonte Green and Aaron Hester, quarterback James Franklin and kicker Giorgio Tavecchio.
None of the cuts come as too much of a surprise, with the possible exception of Tavecchio, who had battled Lions draft pick Nate Freese throughout training camp for the starting kicker role. The decision seemed all but made, however, after Tavecchio missed a 51-yard field goal in Friday’s third preseason game the week after Freese made one from 55 yards out.
Tavecchio has never played in a regular season NFL game but has now gone through training camps with three different teams over the past three summers.
The Lions took Green with their sixth-round pick in 2012, and he played in 15 games for Detroit that year. He got into nine games in 2013. Green started five games his rookie year and two games last season.
Butler played in all 16 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie in 2012, but the Lions like what they got from Sam Martin in 2013, so his job was likely never in serious jeopardy.
Abram and Franklin are both rookies, while Aaron Hester is entering his second season trying to make an NFL team.
Saturday’s roster cuts included guards Alex Bullard and A.J. Dalton, defensive tackle Greg Hickman, running back Steven Miller, defensive end Kris Redding and wide receiver Conner Vernon.
Bullard and Dalton are rookies, as are Hickman and Redding. Miller spent much of 2013 as a member of Detroit’s practice squad. Vernon, also a year removed from his college career, was brought in by the Lions earlier this month.
By Saturday NFL rosters must be down to 53, the number teams will carry throughout the regular season.