Around this time a year ago free agency was just getting started and everybody's focus was on which players the Lions might end up signing. It was a fun and hectic time with lots of moves being made and numerous rumors floating around. Actually, it sort of felt like what went on yesterday with all of the roster news coming out.
With the CBA set to expire tonight, it appears that this year's actual free agency period will be put on hold. Keeping that in mind, I figured now would be a good time to look back on the news from yesterday and earlier this week to make sure everybody's on the same page. It was hard for me to keep track of all the news, so this should serve as a good refresher for everyone.
- Defensive end Cliff Avril received a tender from the Lions that is on a first- and third-round level. That is the highest level for restricted free agent tenders.
- Cornerback Chris Houston was tendered an offer at an unknown level. He commented on returning to Detroit next season and said he would test free agency before making a decision.
- Defensive end Turk McBride was tendered at a second-round level.
- Safety John Wendling was tendered at an original-round level (sixth-round). Offensive guard/center Dylan Gandy and fullback Jerome Felton also received original-round tenders. (Gandy was a fourth-round pick and Felton was picked in the fifth round.)
- Kicker Dave Rayner and defensive tackle Andre Fluellen received tenders, but we currently don't know what level they are.
- Cornerbacks Paul Pratt and Prince Miller, both exclusive rights free agents, were tendered offers.
- Linebacker Zack Follett was tendered an offer and already signed it.
- The Lions released linebacker Julian Peterson.
- Running back Kevin Smith was not extended a tendered contract offer. The same goes for cornerback Brandon McDonald.
- Wide receiver Brian Clark decided to retire to pursue a coaching career.
As you can see, there has already been a lot of roster-related activity this week. I would expect there to be a bit more in the coming days as we continue to find out which restricted free agents were tendered offers. The tenders have already been sent out, but we haven't yet heard from guys like Drew Stanton, Bobby Carpenter, Corey Hilliard and Tye Hill. At least a couple of those players were expected to be tendered an offer, so right now we are just waiting for the news to come out about them.