DeAndre Levy had been a presence in the Detroit Lions locker room and the city of Detroit since 2009. When news hit of his sudden release on Thursday, it sent shockwaves through Lions nation. The news was significant enough that general manager Bob Quinn felt it necessary to send a thoughtful press release regarding the decision. “While he excelled as a player during his time with us DeAndre also had a genuine desire to make a difference off the field, investing a lot of his time and resources in social causes throughout the Detroit community,” Quinn said.
Levy himself also sent a message out to the city of Detroit. “Being a Lion has been tough but rewarding,” Levy said. “I'm forever grateful to have been able to spend the last 8 here in Detroit.”
During that time, Levy made a lot of friends in the locker room, and many took to social media once hearing the news.
No one likely benefitted from having Levy as a teammate more than fellow linebacker Tahir Whitehead. Levy entered the league three years before Whitehead and was the team’s most veteran linebacker once the team released Stephen Tulloch last season. Whitehead shared his gratitude for having Levy as a teammate Thursday night:
I learned a lot from my bro Lev over the past 5 years, from football, to finances, to life. Whoever pick him up will get a steal.✊— Tahir Whitehead (@Big_Tah47) March 10, 2017
Levy had a very bold personality that stuck out in the locker room. The only person who seemed to match his eccentricity was Darius Slay. The two seemingly had an enormous amount of respect for each other. During the season, Levy wrote an article for the Detroit Free Press expressing his admiration for Slay’s work ethic.
Slay, on the other hand, loved to joke around with Levy. “Levy is the weirdest guy on the team,” Slay said during the 2016 preseason. “But he’s the coolest. That’s my little big brother.”
After Levy’s release, Slay gave props to his little big brother:
Imma miss my homie levy man but it is a business— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) March 9, 2017
Finally, another (former) Lions linebacker reached out when he heard the Levy news:
Levy doe???— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) March 9, 2017
Kyle Van Noy, of course, spent the first three years in the NFL under the tutelage of Levy. Van Noy’s career also didn’t work out in Detroit, as Bob Quinn traded him halfway through the 2016 season.
UPDATE: Ameer Abdullah shared his thoughts, too:
Man imma miss my guy DeAndre Levy... now I'm the only weirdo left on the squad.. ♂️— Ameer Abdullah (@Ameerguapo) March 10, 2017
Detroit will now turn their attention forward, where the Lions have a glaring hole at linebacker. It was already a pretty big need before Levy’s release, now it’s one of Detroit’s largest holes on the roster.