Lions Release Brian Kelly, Sign Dexter Wynn

The Lions released cornerback Brian Kelly on Tuesday, despite signing him only this past March. According to Tom Kowalski, the Lions paid Kelly $4 million this season.  His deal was originally set to last for three years, but he didn't even last an entire season.  He had started in eight consecutive games before this past Sunday, where he did not play at all.  Over the course of the season, he started in a total of ten or so games.

Kelly was brought in originally for a few reasons.  He spent ten years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so he had plenty of experience in the defense the Lions run.  Similarly, Rod Marinelli and some of the defensive coaches were familiar with him from their days in Tampa, which is a big reason why a few others were signed in the last couple of years.  The other big reason for signing Kelly was the fact that the Lions needed help at cornerback.  It was expected that Kelly would provide that help, but he had no interceptions and only a single pass break-up (via Tom Kowalski).

With such little depth at cornerback, the Lions had to sign Dexter Wynn, who apparently is a also kick returner.  Here is a more detailed bio from the Lions' press release on this signing:

Wynn (5-9, 175), a fifth-year cornerback and kick returner, arrives in Detroit after previously playing for the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. He has played in 51 career games (41 starts) and has accumulated 26 tackles (22 solo), 1.0 sack, 13 pass defenses and five fumble recoveries on defense. As a kick returner, He has 87 kickoff returns or 1,860 yards (21.4 avg.) and 67 punt returns for 575 yards (8.6 avg.). In 2006, he was claimed off waivers November 1 by the Houston Texans after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles the day before, and played for the Texans until he was released August 29, 2008. Wynn spent his first two full seasons of his career in Philadelphia after being drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Colorado State.

Cornerback Keith Smith is expected to return from injury this week, according to Dave Birkett.  He and Ramzee Robinson will likely get quite a bit of playing time behind starters Travis Fisher and Leigh Bodden.

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