The mess that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2013 season may have inadvertently helped the Detroit Lions, who've been spread a bit thin at wide receiver lately thanks to key injuries.
Kevin Ogletree, signed by Tampa in March of 2013, was abruptly dropped from the Buccaneers' roster Tuesday. Wednesday, he worked out in Detroit, and shortly thereafter, the Lions decided to sign the young wide receiver, thus adding some additional teeth to their recently decimated group.
With Nate Burleson shelved for a considerable period of time and Patrick Edwards still struggling to get up to strength after an ankle injury cost him two games, the Lions are counting on Ogletree to provide some under the radar production. Formally a Dallas Cowboy, Ogletree's best season came in 2012, when he contributed 436 yards and four touchdowns.
From Detroit's perspective, many will wonder if the move is enough to compensate for Burleson, but the addition of Ogletree can't be seen as anything other a positive. In Tampa Bay, the quarterback situation has been turned upside down, and offensive production is null and void. With the Lions, Ogletree has freedom to play his role—a slot receiver—with confidence. Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson will occupy attention everywhere else, while defenses have to respect the size and abilities of Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, despite their inconsistent hands.
That should open up plenty of space over the middle for Ogletree, which is his favorite place to operate on the field. Even though he's played with the likes of Tony Romo, Mike Williams, Miles Austin and Jason Witten, the argument can be made that he's never seen time in an offense quite like Detroit's, which uses plenty of shotgun and multiple wide receiver sets with great success. As far as a scheme matching talent, Ogletree could have found his ideal home.
The best news for Lions' fans? There is no risk involved within this move. Ogletree didn't cost a high draft pick or a player, and if Martin Mayhew, Jim Schwartz and company don't like what he brings to the table, they don't have to bring him back. Should he find a home, one less asset will need to be spent on an offensive upgrade, which is always good news.
On his Twitter profile, Ogletree describes himself as a "piece of poison for defenses," and at times, that's looked to be the case. Playing alongside Bush, Johnson and Matthew Stafford, opposing defenses will now have to pick at least one more poison when defending Detroit.
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