The Detroit Lions have notified veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant that he will be released at the start of the league year, according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN. The move will free up nearly $6.2 million in cap space, as the Lions try to get in cap compliance with the NFL salary cap expected to drop this year.
In 2019, the Lions signed Trufant to a two-year, $20 million deal in an effort to replace disgruntled Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. In his one year in Detroit, Trufant struggled to stay on the field, dealing with a lingering hamstring injury for nearly the entire season. In total, he played in just six games, made 20 tackles to go along with four passes defended and one interception.
During his press conference earlier this week, Lions head coach Dan Campbell hinted that this transaction may be coming.
“I would say there’s going to be some things that go down this week one way or another,” Campbell said. “When all that happens, you’ll know, but I don’t want to get too deep into all that.”
The Lions currently have just three cornerbacks under contract for the 2021 season: Jeff Okudah, Amani Oruwariye, and Justin Coleman. However, Coleman is also a candidate to be a cap casualty, as the Lions would save nearly another $5 million in cap space upon his release. Detroit also faces decisions on cornerbacks Darryl Roberts (unrestricted), Mike Ford (restricted), and Tony McRae (unrestricted), all of whom are set to become free agents on March 17.