Lions cut Don Muhlbach on his 40th birthday

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Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach received a rocking chair from teammates Tuesday on his 40th birthday. He also received a pink slip.

Lions coach Dan Campbell, who preceded Muhlbach by a couple of years at Texas A&M but was a teammate in Detroit from 2006-08, announced the bad news at his press conference.

Dude’s a pro,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s an even better person. . . . I hate it, man. This is the hardest time.”

Muhlbach was one of the NFL’s longest tenured players, having joined the Lions in 2004. Tom Brady is the only player in his 40s currently active in the NFL.

Muhlbach played 260 games in his career, missing only one game since the start of the 2006 season. It is the eighth-most games in NFL history for a player with a single team.

He snapped for 15 game-winning field goals and five-game winning extra points, though he played only three playoff games. Muhlbach twice made the Pro Bowl.

Campbell called it “time” for Muhlbach, who may have played his final NFL game.

“As he’s done his whole career, he handled it like a pro,” Campbell said, via Chris Burke of “He appreciated that we talked to him, brought him out there, sat with him for a while. . . . We wanted to make it as good as you could under the circumstances.”

15 responses to “Lions cut Don Muhlbach on his 40th birthday

  1. Ok, as a Lions fan this pissed me off. The guy has been among the few professionals in Detroit for a number of years and they aren’t at the final cuts this is bad in practice and appearance. This did not have to be done today and there was no burning roster spot and a player who shouldn’t be exposed to anyone poaching them. I often speak here frankly about the warts of my team and this is one of those little things that makes the jokes everyone else say about the Lions, sadly true.

  2. Happy birthday to you , Happy Birthday to you …. here’s 20 dollars and a pink slip … screw you..

  3. This is a business and this regime is moving like a real front office all the Patty cake stuff over. Stafford ( two first round picks and a third for him) Kenny golladay wants 18 per he’s gone loved Marvin. Jones but times up . Have to tear it all the way down from Matt Patricia to try and at least build it right

  4. Why today? No pressing need. Nobody in the whole organization, was aware this was his birthday? A milestone birthday? Calvin Johnson, may have a point.

  5. Playing that long is an incredible accomplishment, particularly given the franchise in question. Having said that, do 40 year-old people really make a big deal about their birthdays? If they cut him on the day he suffered the loss of a loved one, that is one thing- but give me break, the fact that it coincided with his birthday is hardly significant.

  6. jetsfan12 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 6:52 pm
    Playing that long is an incredible accomplishment, particularly given the franchise in question. Having said that, do 40 year-old people really make a big deal about their birthdays?

    I’m 55 I love birthdays. No one wants to hear happy birthday, you’re fired.

  7. Why today you ask? Well its roster cut day! Who cares if it is his birthday, it just happened to fall on the same day. Been fun every year knowing we would be signing him again to a one year contract but eventually this day had to come.

  8. isn’t today a cut down day?

    why is this such a surprise?

    it’s been coming for years and a new regime has a right to change the locker room;

    that it was his birthday was an unfortunate irony, but would it have been better the day before his birthday?

    i am CERTAIN Martha called him into her office at least a day ago to tell him herself because that’s the kind of person she impresses me as being, and Sheila as well;

    stop making something of nothing Lion fans, winning means making changes all of which you are not gonna like but will forget the day LT. Dan hoists the Lombardi down Woodward Avenue and Grand River Boulevard around past the Motown Studio Museum;

  9. They almost cut him last year. A 40 year old one trick pony is completely orthogonal to the direction this team is heading. Muhl was a great trooper for a long, long time. Great career. But, now isn’t the time to be paying $1m/yr for that role.

  10. I was curious about the pay for a veteran longsnapper, so I looked at his contracts. I think part of the reason some of these guys last so long is because they all pretty much play for the minimum plus small signing bonuses. I was wondering if maybe he had some huge contract for $2 million or something. No, he’s pretty much been on 1 year deals with signing bonuses under 6 figures for the past decade. Basically, after making just around a million a year for the past 7 years, they paid him 50 grand for the pre-season. As far as the timing goes, I don’t know the guy so maybe he would have liked to stick around until final cuts for free so he can be around his teammates, but I’d rather be cut sooner than later if they’ve already decided to cut me. Takes away the injury risk, gives time to catch on with another team if someone else has an injury or something in the pre-season, Lions aren’t paying him anything beyond what’s guaranteed and mandated, etc.

  11. Somebody that recognizes the value in an experienced long snapper is gonna sign him quickly, but of course the special teams coach will be the one getting the blame at the end of the season for all the botched snaps by the rookie long snapper they chose over him to save a million bucks.

  12. Are there any other 40 year old snappers? Seems like it was to to move on and last I checked people get fired on Christmas Eve. That’s life

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