The Detroit Lions released 20 players and waived/injured DE Korey Bosworth to reduce their roster down to the NFL-mandated 53-man limit prior to 6 p.m. The list was released via email to the media at 8:15pm.
This list of players will likely not be the same in a week. The Lions added numerous players at the beginning of last season and the bottom of their roster will continue to churn as the team seeks to reduce the stain left by the Matt Millen-era.
The following players were released today:
CB Dré Bly, CB Eric King, CB Paul Pratt, CB T.J. Rushing, CB Jonathan Hefney, S Ko Simpson, and CB Dante Wesley.
This position group was subject to a major overhaul on Saturday as Denver Broncos CB Alphonso Smith was added to the team. With the subtraction of Bly and King, Smith will be slotted in right away to the nickleback role (pending any further addition).
John Wendling, a special teams veteran, was added recently and concern over the injury to Louis Delmas may have swung the pendulum in his favor.
Bly and Wesley could both end up back on the Lions after the team's first game when contracts are no longer guaranteed.
Pratt and Hefney are both prime candidates for the practice squad.
The group that remains on the Lions roster has only one player (Delmas) who was on the team in 2009.
LB Caleb Campbell and LB Vinny Ciurciu.
A fan favorite, Campbell is simply not ready to contribute to an NFL team. He will get a long look for a spot on the practice squad.
Ciurciu was made expendable when Rocky Boiman was added earlier in the week. He is a well-traveled veteran and will get a modicum of interest after week one.
The Lions kept seven linebackers on the 53-man roster and continue to shuffle players while DeAndre Levy recovers from injury.
WR Brian Clark, WR Michael Moore, and WR Tim Toone.
Clark and Toone are both special teams players who simply got lost in a numbers game with so many kick returners, punt returners, and gunners on the roster.
Moore offers little in terms of elite upside but was added as a undrafted free agent from Georgia where he once roomed with QB Matthew Stafford. Moore is sure handed and a willing blocker and could find a spot on the practice squad.
Both Dennis Northcutt and Derrick Williams make the roster but could be easily replaced as plenty of depth at wide receiver was added to the waiver wire Saturday afternoon.
G Noah Franklin, C Dan Gerberry, T Jon Jansen, and T Cliff Louis.
Jansen was the first to announce on his Twitter account (@BigJon76) this morning that he would leaving his home-town Lions after only a year. He was released in favor of former first-round pick Gosder Cherlius who will be the fill time starter at right tackle.
Corey Hilliard was also kept on the roster for his versatility and Jason Fox, although still struggling with long-term knee injuries, was not placed on IR. Gerberry showed promise in the last couple of exhibition games but did not have the upside at both the guard and center positions that Dylan Gandy has.
Again, this is a position group that could change quite a bit in the next week as Hilliard and Gandy are not as good as many of the players released today.
DT Rob Callaway, and DT Landon Cohen
The Lions went for versatility on the defensive line, keeping Turk McBride, Lawrence Jackson, and Andre Fluellen all of whom can play both defensive and and defensive tackle in pass situations. In fact, the entire defensive line has only one player (Sammie Lee Hill) who can not fill multiple roles.
Cohen had played extremely well in the preseason and sources say that the Lions tried extremely hard to move him prior to Saturday's deadline.
Callaway is a local product out of Saginaw Valley State and has a lot of raw talent, reminding some talent evaluators of Hill.
Running back DeDe Dorsey lost his roster spot thanks to improved concentration and effort from Aaron Brown. He spent last year in the UFL and likely will return there.
Kicker Steven Hauschka, was a camp kicker who likely put enough on tape to catch on elsewhere.
Michael Schottey is the Managing Editor of Bleacher Report's College Writing Internship Program and is an NFL Featured Columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
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