After releasing veteran WR Nate Burleson to free up $5.5 million in cap space and room on the roster for what many think will be an early wide receiver draft pick, the Detroit Lions also dumped Louis Delmas to save $6 million. That’s a total of $11.5 million cut from the Lions’ salaries in one day. In addition to a solid second receiver, the Lions obviously need some help in the secondary, and this move shows they are committed to change in coverage. Clearly the Lions have big plans to make some moves, but now it’s up to management to fill the voids wisely.
Delmas was a spotty secondary player who made many mistakes in between his few moments of brilliance. He was a poor tackler when in today’s game the safety is often used as another linebacker in blitzes, run stopping and shut downs on short yardage passes. In addition, the traditional speed to cover the deep passes needs to be there, and we all know the Lions gave up a lot of yards on deep plays.
The Lions will lose some veteran leadership in Delmas, but compared to the loss of Burleson, Delmas will not be missed as much. The defense needs veteran leadership in the secondary, but hopefully Rashean Mathis can do that. However, if the Lions bring in a star rookie defensive back and start plugging in some of their other young players back there, it might be wise to keep cleaning house to bring in a veteran through free agency who actually has had success to coach up the young coverage team.
The Lions continue to make definitive moves in the offseason which should lead to a very entertaining draft and a fun preseason.