Wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Daniel Fells both went to training camp with the Detroit Lions this summer, and both are now members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shortly before practice on Wednesday, the Buccaneers announced that they have signed Perriman and Fells to their practice squad. To make room on that 16-man crew, the team released wide receiver John Hurst and tight end Deon Yelder.
In Perriman, the Buccaneers are reuniting with a player who helped them weather late-season injuries to the receiver position in 2019 with the most productive month of his career. Fells is joining the Buccaneers for the first time but his brother, Daniel Fells, also a tight end, was with the team for part of the 2008 season. He also previously played for current Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians in Arizona.
Perriman was most recently with the Chicago Bears, though he did not appear in a game prior to being waived on Monday. Though he is a vested veteran he was subject to the waiver wire because the NFL's trade deadline has passed. Perriman had signed with Chicago just before the start of the regular season after being released by the Detroit Lions at the end of the preseason.
Originally a first-round pick (26th overall) by the Ravens in 2015, Perriman had a three-year tenure in Baltimore largely marred by injuries. He had 43 catches for 576 yards and three touchdowns in 27 games for the Ravens before being released early in 2018 and then catching on with Cleveland at midseason. After he provided a series of big plays for the Browns, catching 16 passes for 340 yards (21.3-yard average) and two touchdowns in 10 games, he signed with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
In Tampa, Perriman had the best season of his NFL career in Bruce Arians' first season as the Buccaneers' head coach. He finished with 36 catches for 645 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games, averaging 17.9 yards per grab. Much of that production came in December after hamstring injuries sidelined wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. In his final three games as a Buccaneer, Perriman topped 100 receiving yards each time and recorded a total of 17 receptions for 349 yards and four touchdowns.
Perriman turned that explosive finish in 2019 into a new one-year deal with the New York Jets in 2020 but was limited to 30 catches for 505 yards and three scores in 14 outings. After becoming an unrestricted free agent again he signed with the Lions this past March before ending up in Chicago.
In his career, Perriman has played in 63 games with 22 starts and snared 125 passes for 2,066 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has a career average of 16.5 yards per reception.
Fells was released by the Lions on Monday after playing in seven games with five starts this season and contributing four catches for 43 yards. It was his second stint in Detroit as he also started 13 games for the Lions in 2013. Fells has also played for Arizona (2014-16), Cleveland (2018) and Houston (2019-20).
Fells began his career as an undrafted free agent with Seattle in 2013 but his first regular-season action came with Arians' Cardinals in 2014. Over three seasons in Arizona he started 24 of 38 games and caught 40 passes for 536 yards and four touchdowns. Fells' most productive NFL season came in Houston in 2019 when he set career highs with 34 receptions for 341 yards and seven touchdowns.
In all, Fells has played in 109 regular-season games with 81 starts and has compiled 127 catches for 1,526 yards and 21 touchdowns.