Panthers add Fullback

The Detroit Lions waived FB Jerome Felton on Tuesday, but he found a new home on Wednesday.

Felton (6-0, 245), who was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Lions, was claimed by the Carolina Panthers, a source confirmed. The Panthers had the first overall spot since the order is based on standings from last season.

Felton’s job security with the Lions, despite starting 16 games over his first three years of play, became tenuous because the team is deemphasizing the fullback position.

“Obviously our fullback position has been de-emphasized and we’re using different people in those roles and it was time to make that move,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said.

The Lions still have one fullback on their 80-man roster – Matt Clapp.

The Panthers, who waived FB Rashawn Jackson to make room for Felton, still have two fullbacks on the roster – starter Tony Fiammetta and Richie Brockel. A possible reason why the team wanted Felton is because Fiammetta is dealing with a neck injury. He has missed the last two preseason games.

Despite Felton’s $1.2 million base salary for 2011, the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles also placed waiver claims in for Felton.

The Vikings already have two fullbacks on their roster – Ryan D’Imperio and Matt Asiata.

The Eagles, who have two fullbacks on their 80-man roster, were said to be looking for competition for starter Owen Schmitt, a source indicated, which suggests they could look to sign another veteran who winds up being released after the final roster reduction this Saturday. Seventh-round pick Stanley Haviliis the other fullback on the roster.