Manny Ramirez is out in Detroit. The 32-year old guard was not pleased with the time spent on the Lions bench and believes he can get a better deal in starting elsewhere. To that end, both his camp and the Lions have decided to part ways. Manny will look for a new team this offseason.
Per the Detroit Free Press's Dave Birkett:
Manny Ramirez won't return to the Lions in 2016. Thought he played well last year, but was relegated to backup. Both sides ready to move on— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 17, 2016
Manny Ramirez started for the Lions during the first five games of the season, but as the Lions flailed out of the gate he found himself riding the pine as the Lions sought new answers for their offensive line woes. As injuries mounted on the line he would come in at points during the season to fill in for Larry Warford and Travis Swanson, but only started for two more games for the rest of the season.
Ramirez also missed out on play-time incentives in his contract, which promised him $450,000 if he played at least half of the Lions snaps in the 2015 season, with additional bonuses built in for higher snap percentages. It's no small amount of money for a 32-year old guard in the NFL.
The Lions acquired Ramirez from the Denver Broncos during the 2015 NFL Draft, swapping their 23rd overall pick for Denver's first-round selection (28th). In addition to Ramirez, the Lions acquired a fifth-round pick in 2015 and another fifth-rounder in the upcoming 2016 draft. Ramirez is an unrestricted free agent and counted for $3 million against the salary cap in 2015.
Although the Lions are equally ready to move on from Ramirez, it has created new questions on an already beleaguered offensive line. Ramirez was capable of playing both left guard and center, and while Laken Tomlinson is expected to grow into the LG spot, the future is not as clear for center Travis Swanson.