Detroit Lions Rumors: Did Team Sign a Punter With Zero Experience?

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Despite making close to $1 million in salary for 2012, Detroit Lions punter Nick Harris stunk at his job. The 13 year NFL veteran now finds himself without a home for the 2013 season. In nine of the last ten seasons, Harris has called Detroit home. That could all change with a recent roster move by the Lions.

The Lions have signed Blake Clingan to a one year deal that was confirmed by his agent. Clingan’s name likely doesn’t ring a bell to you. That’s because the former punter for the University of Central Florida has played in zero NFL games. In fact, over the last two years, Clingan has been working as a pharmaceutical salesman.

That’s right, in 2013 the Lions could be counting on a guy who hasn’t punted with pressure since 2010. Clingan, who has still been practicing his punting when he is not working his full time day job, earned the deal with an impressive workout in front of Lions coaches at the team’s Allen Park practice facility. Rumor has it, Clingan continually hit the ceiling at the facility, which could be a good sign of his hang time.

Last season, the Lions ranked dead last in both punting average yards (41.4) and net yards per punt (37.1). Harris struggled and punted below his career average for yards per punt. The Lions are not expected to offer a new deal to Harris.

Clingan has a chance to land the full time punting gig for the Lions. Normally I would be against signing a player who has zero experience and is out of practice. However, in this case it can’t get much worse that last season.

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