By 4 p.m. ET on next Tuesday, the Detroit Lions have to get down to 75 players on their roster. Rather than wait until next week to make all of their releases, the Lions got a start on them on Friday afternoon by letting go five players: wide receiver Chaz Schilens, offensive lineman Derek Hardman, defensive tackle John Drew, cornerback D.J. Johnson and cornerback Ross Weaver.
Of those players, Schilens and Johnson were simply released. Both players are now free agents. Hardman has to go through waivers, and the Lions waived/injured Drew and Weaver. This means that if Drew and Weaver clear waivers, they could be placed on injured reserve by the Lions or released with an injury settlement.
Since the Lions never filled up their roster after Mike Thomas was released earlier this week, they now only have 84 players. This means they will have to release nine more guys by Tuesday's deadline.
In all reality, this round of cuts isn't too difficult for teams. They should have a pretty good idea who is at the bottom of their roster by this point, so there likely won't be too many tough decisions. The real tough calls will be later in the week when teams have to get down to 53 players by 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 31.