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Detroit Lions waive TE Hunter Bryant, LB Curtis Bolton

The Detroit Lions waived two players to likely make room for the upcoming draft class and undrafted rookies.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

On the eve of the NFL draft, the Detroit Lions announced that they have waived tight end Hunter Bryant and linebacker Curtis Bolton.

Last year, Bryant suffered a non-football injury in the offseason and was waived almost exactly a year ago. After clearing waivers, he reverted to the team’s injured reserve list but stayed there for all of 2021. In his rookie season—in which he went undrafted—Bryant showed some promise as an athletic tight end with some solid hands. He only made five game appearances, though, and made a single reception for 44 yards.

The Lions have a pretty crowded tight end room headed into the draft, with T.J. Hockenson, Brock Wright, Garrett Griffin, Shane Zylstra, Jared Pinkney, and Matt Sokol all under contract. That being said, the team is still looking for a short and long-term option to be their primary tight end behind Hockenson, and an addition remains a possibility in this week’s draft.

Bolton signed to the Lions practice squad in December and was promoted to the active roster less than four weeks later. He remained on the active roster the last month of the season but only contributed on special teams.

The Lions currently have eight linebackers under contract Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes, Chris Board, Jarrad Davis, Josh Woods, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Anthony Pittman, and Tavante Beckett. They figure to add at least another linebacker via the draft this weekend.

Overall, the Lions also simply needed to open up some roster spots for this year’s draft class. Prior to these waivings, the Lions had 80 players under contract. With eight draft picks this weekend and several undrafted free agent signings expected, Lions general manager Brad Holmes was going to make some room sooner or later.