Well-traveled sixth-year corner Crezdon Butler will take Mathis’ place on the Lions’ 53-man roster.
The 35-year-old’s started 36 games for the Lions since coming over from Jacksonville as a free agent in 2013. The Lions re-signed Mathis to a $3.5MM deal prior to this season, and per Twentyman, this setback places his future with the team — and probably the league — in question.
Mathis’ contract extends into 2016, but the veteran’s deal contains just $375K worth of dead money. The Lions would save $1.5MM by parting ways with the 13-year veteran.
The contract stipulates a $500K roster bonus will be due on the third day of the 2016 league year, and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter) doesn’t expect the Lions to pay it.
Mathis, who’s snared 32 career interceptions since being selected in the second round of the 2003 draft, experienced consistent headaches since the injury, and Detroit opted to put him on IR after he spent time in the league’s concussion protocol.
The Lions started 2014 fourth-rounder Nevin Lawson in Mathis’ place in London two weeks ago.
Butler’s spent time with eight other teams since 2010, most recently seeing action with the Seahawks in Week 6.