Pro Football Talk and Adam Schefter are reporting that the Lions have released cornerback Phillip Buchanon with the team. Buchanon was originally signed to be a veteran presence in the secondary and to be a starter at cornerback. He did start 11 games last season for the Lions, but he was benched quite often by coaches, who were not thrilled with his play at times. During the 2009 season he didn't have a single interception after picking off at least 2 passes in each of the previous three seasons.
I can understand why this move is a bit surprising strictly in the sense that the Lions have virtually no depth at cornerback right now, but was anybody really impressed with Buchanon last year? I think the Lions made the right move, especially since Buchanon was set to make $3.5 million next season. With a free agent class filled with many solid cornerbacks, I'm assuming the Lions are banking on the possibility of signing at least one. They have already thought about trading for Antonio Cromartie, so it's obvious that the team understands the need to rebuild the cornerback position yet again.
Some free agents I would keep my eye on include Marlin Jackson, who was not tendered by the Colts and went to the University of Michigan, Lito Sheppard, who was just released by the Jets, and Dunta Robinson. If the Lions are going to open up their checkbooks at all in free agency, I hope it is to add some talent at cornerback. It has been way too long since the Lions have had a competent secondary, and although Louis Delmas has the safety position on the right path, the cornerback position still is a huge concern like usual.