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Detroit Lions trade Akeem Spence to Dolphins for 2019 draft pick

The Lions have shipped their defensive tackle after asking him to take a pay cut.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence was given a pay cut. Now it’s a little clearer why they may have done so. The team announced later that day that they have traded Spence to the Miami Dolphins for an undisclosed 2019 draft pick. Obviously, the pay cut was made to make Spence a little more cap friendly to his new team, therefore more tradable.

Justin Rogers of the Detroit News is reporting that the Lions are getting just a seventh-rounder in return:

UPDATE: ESPN’s Field Yates is reporting that the seventh-round pick is conditional.

Spence leaves Detroit just a year after signing a three-year, $9 million contract. In his only season with the Lions, Spence racked up 39 total tackles, 3.0 sacks and one forced fumble in 16 games played (11 starts).

The Lions are making drastic changes on the defensive side of the ball ever since hiring Matt Patricia as their head coach. Earlier in the year, the Lions added Sylvester Williams in free agency, and followed it up by drafting defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand in the fourth round. They were also reportedly close to signing interior defender Ricky Jean Francois in free agency. We’ll see if Spence’s trade will result in the team closing the deal with the veteran lineman.

The Lions open up $2.25 million cap space by moving Spence, but will incur $1.5 million in dead cap, per Spotrac.

Spence posted a classy exit to Detroit via his Twitter page: