The Detroit Lions have made some shocking news today with a report that they will release linebacker DeAndre Levy.
So far the biggest bombshell of free agency isn’t who the Detroit Lions are bringing in, but who they are sending out. According to beat writer Dave Birkett, the Lions are set to release DeAndre Levy.
Levy has played in just six games over the last two seasons because of injury but his release still comes as a big shock. Just last week Bob Quinn said at his press conference at the NFL Combine that he expected Levy back and healthy for the 2017 season and that there weren’t any discussions about modifying his contract.
Add in that linebacker is not a position of strength for the Lions and that the Lions eat $7.2 million in dead money while saving only $1.2 million against the cap, and the news is even more surprising. Birkett adds that Levy will be designated a post-June 1 cut, allowing the Lions to spread out the dead money over the 2017 and 2018 salary cap, gaining some additional cap room this season by shifting the future years portion of the dead money to next year.
Detroit News beat writer Justin Rogers tweeted that he had heard rumblings the Lions were looking for a trade partner at the Combine but apparently found no takers.
Is this a sign something big is in the works, or were the Lions just that intent on moving on from Levy? What happens at linebacker immediately becomes even a more important storyline for the Lions offseason than it already was.
UPDATE: The Lions have announced their release of Levy, offering the following via press release:
"“On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to thank DeAndre for his many contributions to the Detroit Lions over the past eight seasons.“While he excelled as a player during his time with us, DeAndre also had a genuine desire to make a difference off the field, investing a lot of his time and resources in social causes throughout the Detroit community.“We wish DeAndre the very best in all his future endeavors.”"