The first big news of the day was when the Detroit Lions announced that they released veteran wide receiver and team leader Nate Burleson. The move was not a surprise but he will be missed. The move also saves about $5.5 million in cap room for the Lions.
Now it has been reported that the Lions have released safety Louis Delmas. Senior writer and insider Tim Twentyman was the first one to report the news:
As you see above in the tweet, this is once again a move to clear cap space. By releasing both Burleson and Delmas, the Lions are saving a total of $11.5 million toward next year’s cap.According to Tim Twentyman, with these two moves, the Lions are now under the projected cap of $126 million by more than $5 million.
In my previous article about Burleson being released I said I wasn’t surprised and I am not surprised that Delmas has been released. Delmas has struggled to stay healthy, he missed five games in 2011 and six in 2012 but he did start all 16 games last year. He’s a big hitter at safety but that’s part of the problem, meaning he tends to go for a big hit instead of wrapping up and finishing tackles. He is also not known much for being a legit cover safety who you can count on to make big plays in the air. He may be talented, but he is also inconsistent and at times, reckless.
Now that’s not to bad-mouth Delmas because he did have his big moments with the Lions but not enough for the Lions to want to keep him. He had a total of 331 tackles, five sacks, six interceptions and four forced fumbles during his five seasons with the Lions.
Overall, he will still be missed but again I understand why the Lions are doing this. However, with Delmas being released, it’s safe to assume that the Lions will be in the market for a safety so look for them to either draft one or sign one through free agency. The Lions have the 10th overall pick in the draft but there has been back and forth debating on what they should do with it, some feel the Lions should draft a cornerback, some feel they should draft a wide receiver and some feel they should even draft a safety.
Now just last month, I wrote an article about the Lions draft options with 10th pick and I broke down their options when drafting a safety. See below:
For those Lions fans who want the Lions to draft a safety with 10th pick. Honestly, the main safety that comes to mind for the Lions is Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. When it comes Clinton-Dix, you’re talking about an ideal safety. He has good size and height. He’s good coverage, always providing help for his fellow cornerbacks and looking to make a big play. He’s a consistent tackler, who knows how to wrap up and finish tackles and under the right coaching, he could even be used in containing the run game.
Now some say he shouldn’t be drafted with the 10th pick because he’s considered to be a reach or because he isn’t projected to be taken that high on mock drafts. Well I say that’s crap, I am tired of hearing about mock draft projections, when it comes to draft decisions, I think the team should draft what they need. Meaning if the Lions believe they need a safety more than they need a wide receiver or cornerback and they believe Clinton-Dix matches all their wants and needs in a safety, then they should draft him with the 10th pick. I think mock drafts are great but I don’t think that teams and even fans have to follow them. The draft is about selecting what you need and want and the point remains that if you have the right staff, who knows how to scout and select talent, you can find what you want and need in the first round and in the sixth and seventh rounds of the NFL draft, the key part of that sentence being “if you have the right staff, who knows how to scout and select talent.”
However, getting back to the subject at hand, I honestly don’t think that the Lions have to draft a safety with their 10th pick but if they do decide to go that route, there’s nothing I can do to stop them. However, just like the receiver and cornerback positions, there will be more options at safety in later rounds so if the Lions do want to draft a safety in this year’s draft, they will have options like Ahmad Dixon of Baylor , Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois, Deone Bucannon of Washington State, Ed Reynolds of Stanford and that’s just to name a few.
As I mentioned above, the Lions could also very well sign a safety through free agency. However, for now just like Burleson, Delmas instantly becomes a free agent and he is free to sign with any team.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit