Aboushi is coming off a two-year stint in Detroit, where he mostly served as a backup to both guard positions. However, due to injury he got significant playing time, and by the end of the 2020 season, he had essentially won the starting right guard position over Joe Dahl.
Since the Lions cut Dahl, saving Detroit nearly $2.9 million in cap space, it’s a little surprising to see Detroit not bring back Aboushi at that modest of a deal. While the Lions overhauled their coaching staff this offseason, offensive line coach Hank Fraley remains, so there was still familiarity with Aboushi.
That being said, this could be a serious sign that the Lions trust in last year’s fourth-round pick, Logan Stenberg, to develop into a starter this offseason. Stenberg was viewed as a developmental project coming from a very run-heavy Kentucky offense. Because the Lions may be a bit more focused on the run game under offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, they may value his “mauler” mentality more than the previous regime and think he’s ready to take over.
Or, maybe, they’ve got their eyes on someone else in free agency and/or the draft.