The Detroit Lions are halfway through the preseason and have many roster decisions to make, but T.J. Hockenson continues to look like the real deal.
The Detroit Lions have reached the halfway point of the exhibition season, and while drastic cuts aren’t on the docket yet, the decision-making process if in full gear.
At this point, every day is a new opportunity for players to help or hinder their cause of making the Lions team this fall. The top two-thirds of the roster is most likely pretty safe, but I say ‘most likely because you never know what could happen.
Perhaps a veteran plays a little sluggishly and those vying for a job behind him are playing well. That could cause a trade or perhaps the Lions might simply cut the veteran for a youth movement they believe in. Another factor in a close race is salary.
Consider the release of Theo Riddick early in camp. He had been a productive part of this franchise for the last five years, but the majority of that was as a receiver out of the backfield. His contributions in the running game had been sporadic and mostly unimpressive.
While there had been many pundits and fans alike who had thought Riddick might be a salary-cap casualty, someone still had to beat him out for roster spot, right? Then came lightning fast Ty Johnson in last April’s draft.
The versatile youngster showed enough ability in OTAs that general manager Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia decided to release Riddick to make room for the signing of former Packer defensive tackle, Mike Daniels very early in training camp. Anything can happen.
In the quest to build a Super Bowl champion, loyalty only goes so far. Sometimes unpopular moves must be made in order to create the right mix to be a contender.
Think about it, almost 20 years ago a young second-year quarterback out of the University of Michigan took over for his teams injured starter who was considered one of the best in the NFL. Even when that starter recovered from the injury he couldn’t get back into the lineup.