Detroit Lions Make Surprising Roster Move, Waive Bill Bentley


It was expected that the battle to be the Detroit Lions‘ nickel cornerback would come down to incumbents Bill Bentley, Nevin Lawson, free agent pick up Josh Wilson and rookie Quandre Diggs. Following a surprising move today, we can remove Bill Bentley from that list.

It’s not a huge surprise that CB Bill Bentley won’t be on the Detroit Lions’ final roster, but it is surprising to see them part ways so soon. That says a lot about how the Lions view the competition, and where Bentley stood in the pecking order.

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Bentley would have been on the outside looking in had I put together a 53-man roster prediction heading into training camp as the Lions have other options that are younger, healthier and cheaper. Bentley likely would have had to clearly out-perform his competition in order to secure a roster spot, something the Lions obviously didn’t see was going to happen.

He was set to count about $817,000 against the Lions’ salary cap with this being the last year of his rookie deal. Waiving Bentley will save the Lions $680,000 in cap space and will leave about $137,000 in dead money.

For comparison, Josh Wilson carries a cap number of $665,000, Nevin Lawson is at $510,000 and Quandre Diggs has a cap number of just $463,838.

The silver lining for Bentley is he is now free to find a situation better suited for him to make a final roster. He stands a better chance if he can latch on with a team now to enter training camp with them rather than to cycle in mid-camp.

The Lions’ third round pick in 2012, Bentley appeared in just 18 games in his three years with the Lions, making eight starts. He was the first of three cornerbacks drafted by the Lions in the 2012 NFL Draft, of which the Lions now have none remaining.

Waiting until the third round to take Bentley, the Lions opted for a “quantity over quality” approach by also drafting Chris Greenwood in the fifth round and Jonte Green in the sixth round, hoping one would emerge as a productive player. For a variety of reaons, the Lions went 0-for-3.

Next: Matthew Stafford Showing Improvement in Mini-Camp

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