After eight seasons with the team, the Lions are releasing linebacker DeAndre Levy, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The veteran will be designated a June 1st cut, allowing the team to save some extra cap room for next season (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press on Twitter). The linebacker was set to make $5.75MM this upcoming season, and his cap hit accounted for $8.39MM. The organization saves around $1MM by making this move.
Levy joined the Lions as a third-round pick in 2009, and he quickly established himself as a reliable presence on the defensive side of the ball. The linebacker missed only seven regular season games through his first six years in the league, including a career-year in 2014 when he collected 151 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception, and one safety. Levy earned second-team All-Pro honors following the season, and he subsequently signed a four-year, $33.74MM extension with the Lions.
Detroit’s investment hasn’t paid off over the past two seasons. Levy has only appeared in six games (four starts) since inking the new deal, compiling 21 tackles. A report from earlier this month indicated that the team hadn’t approached the 29-year-old about a pay cut, but there were indications that Levy would still return to the Lions for the 2017 season.
The team will presumably be eyeing some reinforcement at linebacker following this move. The team is currently rostering four players at the position, including Thurston Armbrister, Tahir Whitehead, Antwione Williams, and Paul Worrilow.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.