Lions Release Young Running Back To Reinstate Veteran Defender

Ty Johnson

Getty Ty Johnson running for the Lions.

The Detroit Lions have seen the return of a key member of the defense, but his arrival has meant the release for a member of the offense.

Safety Jayron Kearse returned from the commissioner’s exempt list, and as a result, the Lions waived running back Ty Johnson. Johnson, a 6th round pick out of Maryland in 2019, has plenty of life left in his legs but no role left with the Lions considering the relative depth of the position on the team this year.

Getting Kearse back, meanwhile, is huge for a Detroit defense that signed him this offseason and was hoping to get big results at safety. Now, Kearse will come into the mix and add some depth to the position.

Lions Loaded at Running Back

Why cut Johnson now? Detroit has a solid player on their team currently in Kerryon Johnson that they are developing. Johnson, however, has run into a few issues with injuries the last few years, so the team was looking for someone else that can be a solid running mate for Johnson moving forward. On the roster, the Lions were looking for someone else to build around. That’s why they felt as if they may want to target the draft, which is where D’Andre Swift came in. The team then pulled a surprise and signed Adrian Peterson just before the season began and he has run strong thus far.

Currently, the Lions are very deep at the position. They elected against the thought that they needed any more at this point, which is why Johnson got released to make way for Kearse.

Jayron Kearse Suspended by NFL

Earlier this offseason, Kearse was handed a 3 game suspension by the NFL. The discipline stems from the defender’s DUI in 2019 in Minnesota while he was playing with the Vikings.

According to the Lions, the team was poised for the suspension and knew it was coming. It will keep Kearse out until Week 4 of the regular season, but he can work with the team during training camp and the lead into this coming season on the field.

Kearse is competing at safety for the Lions where he expects to join the likes of Duron Harmon, Tracy Walker, Will Harris and company. He figures to get a ton of snaps this season in a scheme that places value on safeties and what they can do.

When he joins the team, Kearse will be back and ready to play a solid role for the team. Sitting out should at the very least keep him healthy for the early part of the season.

Lions Agreed to Sign Jayron Kearse

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Lions agreed to sign Minnesota Vikings safety Jayron Kearse in free agency back in March. It was a reported 1 year deal that’s worth $2.75 million dollars.

Kearse will get a chance to come to Detroit on what is essentially a prove it deal with the Lions. He can add depth at safety and also give the team some snaps on special teams as well.

Jayron Kearse Statistics

Coming into the league out of Clemson as a seventh round pick, Kearse was well decorated during his time with the Tigers as a first team ACC player in 2014 and 2015. In the NFL, Kearse has put up decent stats with 79 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 interception and 8 passes defended. Kearse hasn’t played a huge role to this point in his career, but with the Lions, he will get a chance to do plenty of things within their scheme and show why he’s a great player.

Kearse will now finally get to show his stuff to the Lions.

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