12 months ago Detroit were coming off of an 11-win season and a playoff appearance. They felt good and looked like they might push once again for a playoff berth. Now it’s not so good. A 7-9 campaign in 2015 saw offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi lose his job and head coach Jim Caldwell cling on to his by his fingernails. Entering the 2016 the Lions must do better and compete with the rest of their division. That improvement starts with trimming the fat from their roster. So who might be leaving the Motor City this preseason?
Rafael Bush, S
Detroit’s secondary isn’t great at the moment, but they probably won’t have room to carry 3 free safeties into the start of the season. With the Lions currently tight against the cap they could use the relief of the $1.2 million that cutting Bush can bring. With Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson also on the roster Detroit aren’t overflowing with talent at the free safety position but they do have options who aren’t much different to one another, meaning they should go with the cheapest option and use the money saved elsewhere.
Michael Ola, G
Michael Ola is not a good player. The Lions needed better blockers and they took Taylor Decker in the first round, Graham Glasgow in the third and then Joe Dahl in the fifth round. Couple that with signing Geoff Schwartz and the Lions simply don’t need to even consider carrying Ola in 2016.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE
In his seven seasons since being drafted 20th overall by Detroit, Brandon Pettigrew has failed to provide much of a return at the position. He’s played just 2 full seasons and he has barely made an impact as a receiver. While Eric Ebron has hardly set the world alight either the Lions can save a massive $4.65 million by walking away from Pettigrew now and going elsewhere at the tight end position.