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Wednesday open thread: Should the Lions cut Khyri Thornton?

What should the Lions do with the now suspended Khyri Thornton?

Detroit Lions v Houston Texans Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

For the first time in awhile, a Detroit Lions player was suspended under the Jim Caldwell era. Sure Andrew Quarless and Armonty Bryant were suspended last season while with Detroit, but both offenses happened before their time with the Lions.

But Tuesday’s six-game suspension of Khyri Thornton for breaking the league’s substance abuse policy happened was the first to happen under Caldwell since Rodney Austin received a six-game suspension stemming from a domestic abuse charge (Austin had already been released by the Lions at that point).

Now the Lions must face a decision with Thornton. Back in March, Detroit signed him to two-year, $3.3 million contract before adding the likes of Akeem Spence, Jordan Hill and Ego Ferguson in free agency.

If the Lions were to cut Thornton, they’d only have $325,000 in dead cap, while creating $975,000 in cap room, according to However, they would save a lot of money even if they were to keep Thornton around, as much of his contract was tied up in roster bonuses that he won’t receive because of the suspension:

Then there’s the issue of the roster spot. Thornton is allowed to participate throughout all of the offseason, including preseason games. When it comes to the final cutdown to a 53-man roster, Detroit could keep Thornton around on the suspended-reserve list without taking up a spot on the roster. Detroit did the exact same thing with Andrew Quarless last year.

So with the facts laid out, today’s Question of the Day is:

Should the Lions cut Khyri Thornton?

My answer: Not right now. Thornton will be cheap to keep around, he clearly impressed the Lions enough last year to warrant a two-year deal, and Detroit has enough depth at the position to get by while he serves his suspension.

That being said, the Lions should absolutely cut Thornton if his play during training camp and the preseason warrants it. But, in my opinion, his suspension should not really come into play when deciding to keep him around or not. Considering he will not cost the Lions any extra money (remember, his six-game suspension is without pay) and he won’t take up a roster spot, this suspension really has little effect on the Lions at all. Have Thornton play out the defensive tackle competition as normal, and if he plays well enough, put him on the suspended list. If not, then you can release him.

Your turn.


Should the Lions cut Khyri Thornton?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Yes, do it immediately
    (145 votes)
  • 15%
    Yes, but let him stay around for camp, then cut him
    (113 votes)
  • 65%
    No, let him compete for a roster spot
    (488 votes)
746 votes total Vote Now

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