Andrew Quarless, under suspension for gun incident, signs with Lions

In Bob Quinn's first news conference as general manager of the Detroit Lions in January, he said he had zero tolerance for two things: domestic violence and gun issues. On Monday morning, the Lions signed tight end Andrew Quarless, who is on probation for firing a gun in public in Miami Beach on July 4, 2015.

Quinn released a statement with the signing, acknowledging that Quarless has a two-game suspension at the start of the regular season, should he make the roster.

"We are aware of the upcoming NFL suspension of Andrew Quarless," Quinn said in the statement. "We have thoroughly researched the incident that caused the suspension and have talked at length with Andrew about this. Andrew has been forthright and honest about the situation and he has gone through the process within the legal system.

"As an organization we are comfortable with adding Andrew to the roster and look forward to seeing him compete for the rest of the preseason."

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, when asked about Detroit's zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence and dangerous weapons, said he believes in second chances and that the franchise did their diligence on Quarless before signing him. Unlike his boss, he did not come across as concrete about zero tolerance.

"Every case is different," Caldwell said. "You have to look at every single case on its own and you take a look at that and make a decision. I don't think it can ever be just simply black and white."

When asked what characteristics make Caldwell -- and theoretically the Lions -- give a guy a second chance, Caldwell wouldn't go into specifics.

"Everybody's different," Caldwell said. "These aren't clones out there. These are people that have issues, and the thing about it is oftentimes people look to, particularly in this day and age, look to just completely get rid of people. Sometimes they heal in the broken places.

"You might not understand that, but I think most of us in this sport do."

The Lions said earlier Monday that Quinn would not address reporters after practice. It was Quinn, not Caldwell, who mentioned the zero-tolerance policy in January.

Quarless said Monday he spoke with Quinn and Caldwell, among others, before signing with the Lions and that all the conversations he had with the franchise were "genuine" and "truthful." He wouldn't get into specifics of the conversations, but said he felt like the Lions got a good sense of the person he is.

When asked what people should know about the incident, he said people shouldn't rush to judge.

"You could judge anybody, you know," Quarless said. "First, you got to look in the mirror first, you know what I'm saying, before you judge somebody. It's something I moved forward from and I've taken the steps to move forward progressively, and I'm just looking forward to being part of this organization."

Quarless was sentenced to one year of probation and given a $1,000 fine after pleading no contest in November. He also had to attend an anger management course and a weapons safety course, and he had to forfeit his gun.

He had four catches for 31 yards in five games for the Green Bay Packers last season. In 2014, his last full season, he had 29 catches for 323 yards and three touchdowns. Quarless, who went to Penn State, was a fifth-round draft pick by Green Bay in 2010.

The Lions are thin at tight end, with Eric Ebron recovering from an ankle injury, Brandon Pettigrew on the physically unable to perform list coming back from a torn ACL and Tim Wright on injured reserve.

Detroit waived tight end Ben McCord to make room for Quarless.

The Lions also placed wide receiver Andre Caldwell on injured reserve and signed linebacker Dominique Tovell. Caldwell sat out the last week of practice due to an undisclosed injury.