As with the release of Young, though for very different reasons, the departure of Vanden Bosch was no surprise to anyone, including the player himself.
According to Birkett, Vanden Bosch met with the team last week about the decision. He also had nothing but good things to say about the organization:
It was OK. I understood the decision. From the first day I was with the Lions, I was treated with nothing but respect by starting with the Ford family and then my coaches and my teammates. I knew if I’m finished playing football, I always prepared and played as hard as I could so that when I would be finished I had no regrets. And if I don’t get an opportunity to play again in the NFL, I’m very happy about my career, my years in Detroit and really just the relationships that I developed.
From a "return on investment" standpoint, Vanden Bosch was not worth the money he was due to get—from the March roster bonus of $2 million to the $5 million base for the year. His production was always a bit up and down, and the money set to go his way this year just wasn't justified.
If I have a concern, it's from a leadership standpoint. This is already a team which appears to lack strong leadership in general and, as MLive.com's Justin Rogers points out, Vanden Bosch was a key influence in the development of some players like Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson.
Of course, just because Vanden Bosch is gone doesn't mean he stays gone—he could be brought back at a much more cap-friendly price. Nor does it mean that the Lions will be bereft of leadership—it's too early to say who will or won't be back, and it's possible someone else steps up and takes on the role.
In the end, from a statistical or production standpoint, Vanden Bosch shouldn't be missed all that much.
One hopes that someone steps up so that's also the case in the locker room.
On to more NFC North news.
The Tribune's Brad Biggs takes a closer look today at the Bears' defensive line.
While Young's tenure with the Lions ended spectacularly badly, Anthony Kuehn of LionsGab.com writes in the Free Press that GM Marty Mayhew doesn't deserve as much criticism as he has received for picking the volatile wide receiver in the first place.
It's Donald Driver Day as the Packers celebrate their former receiver's career in the wake of his retirement announcement last week.
Meanwhile in non-Driver related news, ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde takes a look at the very tough slate of teams the Packers will be facing in 2013.
1500 ESPN's Tom Pelissero recaps some of head coach Leslie Frazier's interview with the station's "Judd & Dubay" show including thoughts on the relationship between Frazier, the team and Percy Harvin.
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