Lions Make Major Change To Defense, Releasing Veteran

Yardbarker

The 2023 season was a big one for the Detroit Lions as the hard work by general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell began to bear fruit. Detroit won the NFC North division and advanced to the NFC Championship Game, where they were defeated in comeback fashion by the San Francisco 49ers.

This is a Lions team that looks like it is built to stay. But, to remain as contenders, there are a few areas of the team that could use some shoring up this offseason. It wouldn’t hurt to find another weapon in the passing game at wide receiver and pass rush remained an issue at times behind Aidan Hutchinson.

To make those upgrades, a team needs to have money to spend. Detroit is currently projected to have over $50 million in cap space, but that can be eaten up quickly with extensions for key players such as quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Looking to ensure they have as much cap space as possible to work with, the Lions made a big Tuesday afternoon. They released safety Tracy Walker III, creating $5.5 million in cap space with the transaction. Walker took to social media to thank the franchise and city that gave him his start in the NFL.

“Detroit I want to thank you for welcoming me in as rookie and accepting me as family,” he wrote, thanking the Ford family for the past six seasons with the franchise.

“I want to thank my fans and supporters for always having my back through it all. I want to thank the city for holding down for me,” he added. “It was many ups and downs but that’s life and life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you respond. With that being the future is bright and TTIME is coming harder than ever for Year7.!!” (H/T ESPN)

Walker was a third-round pick of the Lions in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Louisiana. He appeared in 79 games overall, starting 43 of them, as a regular part of the rotation in the team’s secondary for six seasons.

Detroit saw him as an integral part of the team, signing him to a three-year, $25 million extension in 2022, but he tore his Achilles three games into that season. He was able to return and appear in all 17 this season but was eventually replaced by Ifeatu Melifonwu at safety alongside C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

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