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Lions Release Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson

Veteran defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson was released earlier today by the Detroit Lions.  Wilkinson had been contemplating retirement throughout most of the offseason, which I'm sure played a role in the Lions decision.  But, in the new Rod Marinelli defense, speed is key, and Wilkinson just doesn't have that anymore.

Here's a brief description of Wilkinson's career with Detroit via the Lions' official website:

Wilkinson (6-4, 353) joined the Lions during training camp in 2003 after spending the previous five seasons with the Washington Redskins. He has 455 career tackles (337 solos) and 54 sacks in 185 games played over his 12-year career. As the top overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, Wilkinson played his first four seasons with Cincinnati before being traded to Washington following the 1997 season.

Throughout his three seasons in Detroit, Wilkinson played and started in every game (48) and along with DT Shaun Rogers helped form one of the most dominant defensive tackle tandems in the NFL. He was instrumental in Rogers emerging as the one of the league's elite defensive tackles as he was named to the 2005 and 2006 NFC Pro Bowl squads and was an alternate for the 2004 Pro Bowl.

We'll just have to see where this goes from now.  The word is that Detroit was looking to trade Wilkinson, but couldn't find any buyers out there.  So, instead of prolonging this in a way that the Joey Harrington deal was, the Lions just decided to move on a part ways.

In some good news, the Lions did re-sign linebacker James Davis to a 1-year deal. Davis started in all 16 games last season at weakside linebacker, so it's good to get back a key player in the defense.

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