The tough thing about the NFL is that it is a business. At the end of the day, if you don't live up to your contract, chances are you will be without a team and without a job. This is the reality of professional football, as evidenced by the Detroit Lions deciding earlier this week to release three players.
One of the players let go was defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who was signed back in 2010 to help lead a culture change. His leadership was valued, as was his play on the field. His leadership is still valued, but his play isn't nearly as much. As a result, the Lions decided to part ways with Vanden Bosch and his large cap number. This surely wasn't an easy decision, just as it probably wasn't easy for Vanden Bosch to find out he's being let go. Even so, he is handling the situation very well, and he told the Lions' official site that he has no hard feelings toward the team.
"There’s definitely no hard feelings," he told Detroitlions.com. "I appreciate the opportunity the Ford Family gave me and the opportunity coach Schwartz gave me and all the respect I got from everyone in the organization."
Vanden Bosch also said that he "gave everything" he had in his three seasons in Detroit and understood that decisions would have to be made because of his contract. He realizes that this is a business, and he leaves with "a tremendous amount of pride" in what he gave to the franchise.
If you still don't believe that there are no hard feelings, get a load of this: Vanden Bosch's guest list for his upcoming wedding includes Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and new defensive assistant Jim Washburn, according to the Free Press. Vanden Bosch doesn't think it will be awkward because he considers all of them friends, and he says he will "always be the biggest Lions fan" when he goes to a game.
As for Vanden Bosch's future, he told the Free Press that he isn't ready to make a decision just yet. The Lions apparently did not give him a chance to take a pay cut to remain with the team, so it's unlikely they have any interest in re-signing him to a cheaper deal. As for playing elsewhere, he said the "right opportunity" would have to come along for him to consider signing with a new team.