The Lions have released defensive end Armonty Bryant, the club announced today. Bryant, who was coming off a four-game suspension, had to either be added to Detroit’s 53-man roster or released by today when his roster exemption expired.
Bryant, who was banned for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, has been suspended three times in the past year. The Lions claimed Bryant off waivers from the Browns last October, and while he appeared in just five games in 2016, he did tally an impressive three sacks during his short campaign. In the best season of his four-year career, 2015, Bryant totaled 14 appearances and 5.5 sacks.
Detroit ranks sixth in defensive DVOA, but that’s largely because of the club’s secondary, as the Lions’ defensive line is just 17th in adjusted sack rate and 28th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders. Anthony Zettel, a 2016 sixth-round pick, has given the Lions incredible production (four sacks) and currently ranks as the league’s No. 9 edge defender, per Pro Football Focus. Ezekiel Ansah and free agent addition Cornelius Washington have been serviceable, as well, meaning Detroit has more depth than originally thought.
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