Lions Release Veteran Quarterback, Defender to Clear Cap Space: Report

Chase Daniel

Getty Chase Daniel runs during a Lions game.

The Detroit Lions have not made a huge dip into free agency other than bringing back a few of their own players, but that could be getting set to change in a big way soon.

Early on Tuesday morning, it was revealed that the team was set to release quarterback Chase Daniel and defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Daniel had been on the trading block, and Shelton seemed like a player who might get the boot given his salary and his fit with the previous scheme.

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NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport was the first to break the news about the impending releases in Detroit.

Both of the moves will combine with a few others to save the Lions plenty of money, the neighborhood of $26 million dollars under the cap for 2021. That could allow the team to be more aggressive if they wish in the coming days on the market, and could give them even more breathing room ahead of adding Jared Goff, who could be restructured to gain cap space as well.

Detroit has plenty more holes to fill, and making these moves will ensure they have the space to fill them as the legal tampering period continues on and free agency opens officially this week.

Danny Shelton’s Career Statistics

Shelton came to Detroit because he had an intimate knowledge of Matt Patricia’s defense in New England and the Lions felt as if he would be a fit. So far, Shelton has played average at best most of last year with just 37 total tackles and 1 sack to his credit. That’s not going to get things done whatsoever from a production standpoint. Obviously, Shelton was on the roster bubble with the new regime thanks to this fact that he plays a role up front on the team’s already weak defensive line. That doesn’t change the fact that the Lions likely wanted more from this signing than they have been able to receive so far, which may have put Shelton in trouble with the new staff.

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Chase Daniel’s Career Statistics

After playing college football at Missouri, Daniel entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009. His first stop was with the Washington Football Team, and from there, has spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears. In his career, the 34-year-old journeyman has compiled 1,430 passing yards and seven touchdowns in five career starts — his last coming in Week 11 of the 2019 campaign.

Daniel has made his biggest impact with the Bears. He helped beat the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in 2018 when Mitch Trubisky couldn’t play, and seemingly, that’s just the type of game the Lions wanted to ask him to win in the absence of their quarterback. Daniel wasn’t able to do that last season for Detroit, but he is still a solid veteran option in the league.

Now, it will be fascinating to see where these players land and who the Lions choose to pursue in order to make up for their releases.

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