The Detroit Lions are making some tough roster cuts, and cornerback AJ Parker became the most surprising one on Tuesday morning.
On Monday, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell openly acknowledged some players who contributed to the team last year and did everything right would be cut ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline to be down to 53 players.
As of this writing there haven’t been many surprise cuts, though some Lions’ beat writers thought linebacker Anthony Pittman was a shocker. A more surprising one soon followed.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions will waive cornerback AJ Parker.
Parker was signed as an undrafted free agent last year. He earned a roster spot and wound up playing 557 snaps over 13 games, with seven starts, as he had 50 total tackles, seven pass breakups and one interception. He seemed like a solid lock for a roster spot. But Mike Hughes has apparently beat him out for a starting job going into the season, and rookie Chase Lucas might not be the clear-cut cut/cross your fingers to get him back to the practice squad it seemed possible he was.
Parker simply didn’t stand out during camp and the preseason, and he struggled some as a run defender–a core part of a slot/nickel corner’s job.
AJ Parker could make it back to the Lions
Parker may get claimed by another team in need of cornerback depth, and perhaps pretty quickly based on how much he played last year. But it’s not out of the question that he clears waivers, and the Lions can bring him back on the practice squad if they want to.
With scheme familiarity and plenty of experience from last year, Detroit’s defensive staff will surely want Parker back if it becomes an option. But there were and are going to be some tough cuts made, and Parker was one for the Lions on Tuesday.