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Detroit Lions waive 5 players, paving way for UDFA signings

The Detroit Lions have parted ways with five depth players, likely to make room for some upcoming UDFA signings.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions entered the 2022 NFL Draft with just 12 roster spots open for new players. After selecting eight players during the draft itself, it left just four spots for undrafted rookie signings.

On Tuesday, the Lions created a handful of additional roster spots by waiving five players. Detroit announced that they have waived linebacker Tavante Beckett, edge defender Rashod Berry, cornerback Parnell Motley, tight end Matt Sokol, and tight end Jared Pinkney. Pinkney was waived with an injury settlement.

The Lions had an overflow of players at the tight end position, so it’s not all that surprising to see Detroit make cuts there. Even with Sokol and Pinkney out, the Lions still have T.J. Hockenson, Brock Wright, Garrett Griffin, Shane Zylstra, and fifth-round draft pick James Mitchell at the position.

Detroit also predictably thinned out the edge room with Berry’s waiving, after Detroit added three players at that position—Aidan Hutchinson, Josh Paschal, and James Houston—in the draft.

In terms of dead cap from these fives cuts, there are none. Of the five players Detroit parted ways with, none of them had any guaranteed money left on their contract. However, because none of these contracts were in the team’s top 51, they will not create any additional cap space, either.

These moves create nine roster vacancies for the Lions, but that won’t be enough for the reported 12 undrafted free agent rookies that they have signed thus far. Either there are more roster moves to come, or some of the UDFA signings that were reported will turn out to be tryouts, instead.

Lions rookie minicamp begins on Friday, May 13 and runs for three days. By then, we’ll know which players have officially made the 90-man roster, and which players are on a tryout basis.