Detroit Lions: 5 potential salary cap casualties heading into 2021

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Lions
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

By releasing Nick Williams, the Detroit Lions can save $4.7 million in salary cap space.

The Detroit Lions signed Nick Williams to a two-year deal worth $10 million this past offseason.

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Williams turns 31-years old in just a few days and just a year removed from his most productive season playing, which came as a member of the Chicago Bears playing alongside Akiem Hicks.

As suspected, Williams’ career-year in 2019 may have been more about playing beside an elite talent than anything else.

In 2019 Williams recorded a career-high six sacks, 21 total pressures, 12 quarterback hurries while notching 35 tackles.  Before that, Williams hadn’t recorded a single sack in four NFL seasons.

After landing his first lucrative deal, Williams provided the Detroit Lions with 23 total tackles, one sack, and 13 total pressures in 2020.  That is not much production for a so-called pass-rushing interior lineman.

Williams provided the organization with an overall PFF grade of 62.7 in 2020, but only a pass-rush mark of 60.6.

The Detroit Lions can replace both Shelton and Williams with a rookie in the upcoming NFL Draft and use John Penisini, Hand, Atkins, and Strong.

A Pro Football Focus perfect 2021 mock draft 1.0. dark. Next

If the Lions choose to release Williams, the transaction will carry a dead cap number of $1 million and save the organization $4.7 million in 2021.  This seems like a no-brainer.