With Detroit remaking its roster, the franchise initially tried to trade Daniel before releasing him Thursday. He now will count $3 million in dead money against this year’s cap, according to Roster Management System.
The Lions have reconstructed their quarterback room by bringing in Jared Goff to replace Stafford and signing Tim Boyle from the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, according to a source, to be a reserve quarterback. Detroit still has David Blough on the roster and could end up selecting a quarterback in next month’s draft.
The Lions had signed Daniel to be their backup quarterback before the 2020 season, in part a reaction to a rotating group of backups behind Stafford in 2019. When Stafford missed the last eight games of the 2019 season with a back injury, it accentuated the need for a more established No. 2 quarterback.
This led the team’s general manager and coach at the time — Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, respectively — to Daniel.
Daniel played four games for Detroit last season, completing 67.4% of his passes with one touchdown and two interceptions.
An undrafted free agent out of Missouri, the 34-year-old has made a career of being a reliable backup quarterback. For four seasons (2010-12 and 2017), he was Drew Brees‘ backup in New Orleans. He was the reserve quarterback in Kansas City for three years, Philadelphia for one, Chicago for two and Detroit last year.
In that time, he has appeared in 69 games, starting five of them. He has completed 178 of 261 passes for 1,694 yards, 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Seven of those eight touchdowns and six of the seven interceptions came in the past three seasons.
One of the things that keeps Daniel valuable is the role of the backup quarterback. Besides an emergency option if the starter goes down, the backup is often a key helper when it comes to breaking down film and intelligence for the starter throughout the week to help him prepare for Sunday. In some ways, the more veteran a backup is, the more he is like another coach in getting the starter ready.
So far in his career, Daniel has earned $37,809,164, according to Spotrac.