The veteran backup quarterback, who was one of the team’s starting quarterbacks during the winless 2008 season, said on SiriusXM Radio on Thursday that the team has told him they will be moving on from him for the 2017 season.
Instead, Orlovsky said, they will go with former Michigan and Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock as the team’s backup.
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) February 16, 2017
The 33-year-old Orlovsky is one of the last pieces of the organization remaining from the 0-16 season in 2008. After Calvin Johnson retired last season and Manny Ramirez did not re-sign with the club, it left Orlovsky and Don Muhlbach as the two players left from that campaign.
With Orlovsky not coming back to Detroit and Muhlbach an unrestricted free agent, it’s possible the team might finally move on from that team entirely. The Lions drafted snapper Jimmy Landes last season as a potential replacement for Muhlbach.
Orlovsky, who did not return a text message seeking comment, tweeted this out over the weekend about his feelings from his time in Detroit.
It'll always be where it started for me. It'll always have a piece of my heart.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) February 11, 2017
Orlovsky only had significant playing time in one game in his second stint in Detroit, when Matthew Stafford was benched in Week 5 of the 2015 season. The perennial backup quarterback has been Stafford’s extra eyes and ears over the past three seasons and has been valuable in helping Stafford prepare during the week. But he did not play a snap in 2016 and has not started a game since 2011, when he had five starts.
Orlovsky has played in 26 games with a 2-10 record as a starter. He has completed 298 of 512 career passes for 3,132 yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has a career passer rating of 75.3.
But his value comes in helping a starter prepare for games, almost like another coach. He’s consistently been that guy for Stafford and is a veteran who can get a team out of a game if necessary.
With Orlovsky gone, Detroit has two quarterbacks on the roster: Stafford and Rudock. It likely means the franchise will pick up a quarterback either through the draft, free agency or an undrafted free agent to compete with Rudock for the backup role at best, and as a camp arm at worst.