The Detroit Lions have had a big conundrum on their hands since the season ended. Veteran right guard T.J. Lang, one of the team’s best offensive linemen, was headed towards a massive salary in 2019, but his health made him an unreliable resource, and it would be hard to justify that cap space on Lang.
On Friday afternoon, the Lions made their decision. Detroit released Lang, freeing up nearly $8.8 million in cap space.
General manager Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia offered the following statement regarding the move:
“We would like to personally thank T.J. Lang for his two seasons with the Lions. He represented everything you could want from a football player and team captain. We all publicly saw him perform on the field at a very high level, but what was seen in the building every day was a player who had great leadership, professionalism, and passion for the game of football. It meant a lot for T.J. to play in his home city and we have the utmost respect for him as a man. We wish T.J. and his family all the best in the future.”
It’s unfortunate the two sides couldn’t come to agreement for a contract renegotiation, and who knows what this means for Lang’s future in football? However, it’s now very clear that right guard is a big need for the Lions going forward.
UPDATE: Lang said his farewells to Detroit the only way he knows how: with a laugh:
And don’t worry, he was joking.
UPDATE 2: The Lions reportedly did not ask Lang to take a pay cut.