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Aug 2, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) takes a snap from center during training camp at Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Face Roster Cut Deadline by Next Tuesday

By this time next week, the Detroit Lions roster will be a little thinner than it is now. Offseason rosters max out at 90 players but only until after the third preseason game. By next Tuesday afternoon, the roster must be no bigger than 75.

With their third preseason game coming on Friday night, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell was noncommittal as to whether the Lions will start trimming their roster on Saturday or wait until closer to the deadline on Tuesday afternoon.

There’s not a definite timetable. There might be some that make sense early and some that may make sense a little bit later prior to the deadline. It just kind of depends.

Why get a jump on cuts earlier than they have to? For one, it isn’t uncommon for teams to release players who have little realistic shot to make the team but may have a good chance of earning a spot with someone else. In that way, it’s actually a courtesy to make the move early so the player has a jump start on finding a good landing place.

Whether cuts are made on Saturday, Tuesday or the days in between, the 75 remaining players are likely to be made up of the players solidly on the final 53-man roster, a handful of vets fighting for the final spots in that 53, and at least a dozen young players eligible for the practice squad. Expect players outside those three categories to not stay with the team through the fourth preseason game.

The Lions released cornerback Drayton Florence but did not announce a corresponding move. It wouldn’t be like them to keep a roster spot open but with a round of cuts just around the corner, perhaps that will be the case in this instance.

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