| The Detroit News
The Detroit Lions began to get their books in order ahead of the start of the new league year, informing veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant he will be released later this month, according to an ESPN report.
Text messages to Trufant’s representation and the team weren’t immediately returned.
The Lions signed Trufant last offseason. The former Pro Bowler was supposed to be a stopgap solution after the team traded away Darius Slay, but the move ended up being a bust due to injuries.
Trufant suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener, missed the next two games only to aggravate the strain it in his return to action. After being sidelined another three games, he appeared in four contests before injuring the hamstring a third time, ending his season.
Even when he was on the field, Trufant struggled. In six games, he was targeted 32 times, allowing 22 completions for 259 yards and three touchdowns. On plays where he was in coverage, the opposing quarterbacks posted a passer rating of 111.3. Pair that inefficiency with five missed tackles and it proved to be a disastrous campaign.
Trufant had signed a two-year contract with the Lions, which included a $5 million signing bonus and $14 million in total guarantees. The team will still be responsible for $6 million in dead money this season ($3.5 million guaranteed base salary and the remaining $2.5 million prorated portion of his signing bonus), while the release will clear $6.2 million off the books.
In an interview with local media earlier this week, coach Dan Campbell foreshadowed this move when he noted the Lions were going to need to address the cornerback position this offseason.
The Lions still have three cornerbacks under contract, but Justin Coleman is another potential cap casualty. His release would save the team another $5 million in much-needed space.
The Lions are expected to build around the young tandem of Jeff Okudah, the team’s first-round draft pick a year ago, and Amani Oruwariye, who has flashed promise in his first two seasons.