As you have undoubtedly heard by now, the Dallas Cowboys have informed wide receiver Roy Williams that he will be released on Thursday. The Cowboys are also planning to release Marion Barber, Leonard Davis, Kris Brown and possibly Marc Colombo as they try to create some salary cap room.
Obviously the decision to cut Williams is the only one of note to Lions fans. Williams was selected with the seventh overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Lions, and a few weeks into Martin Mayhew's tenure as general manager, Williams was traded to the Cowboys. The Lions got quite the haul in return, netting a first-, third- and sixth-round pick in exchange for Williams and a seventh-rounder.
With the three picks, the Lions went on to select Brandon Pettigrew, Derrick Williams and Aaron Brown. So far only Pettigrew looks like a player that will be around well into the future, but he alone made this trade worthwhile. Pettigrew is being tabbed as ready to have a breakout season with the Lions in 2011, and come Thursday Roy Williams will a free agent.
Aside from getting the pick that became Pettigrew, the good thing for the Lions is that they didn't keep Williams around and sign him to a big extension. The Cowboys did just that by giving him a six-year, $54 million deal that included $26 million guaranteed. Williams' production was nowhere near where it should have been for a deal like that, so the Lions dodged quite the bullet by dealing him when they did.