The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday that it has signed a contract with the former University of Michigan trustee – and 2015 second-round selection – Devin Funchess. In an interesting twist, the Lions listed it as a tight end.
At Michigan, Funchess (6ft-4,225lbs) played both tight end and wide receiver, but at the NFL level he was mostly an outside receiver. He has had moderate success with the team that picked him, Carolina Panthers. His best season came in 2017 when he made 63 holds for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. However, in no other season of his career he overshadowed the 600 receiving yards.
However, Funchess has not been playing since 2019. After signing a deal with Green Bay Packers in 2020, he quit due to concerns over COVID-19. He rejoined the Packers in 2021 but was placed in the reserve with an injured hamstring injured hamstring and discharged a few days later. He later joined the 49ers training squad, but failed to start on the pitch during his two-week stay in San Francisco.
Funchess was not only a former Wolverine, but grew up in Farmington Hills. Since Lions is slim on a tight end with injuries – rookies James Mitchell and Derrick Deese basically missed all the off-season activities – Funchess will have the chance to come back and compete in a position where he has thrived at Ann Arbor. Funchess is only 28 years old so there is certainly a chance for a career revival in Detroit.