Lions to cut Justin Coleman, Jesse James; Fixing past wrongs?

Jesse James, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jesse James, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions, along with every other NFL team, is feeling the financial crunch following the announcement that the league salary cap will drop to $182.5 million for this season. To compensate, several talented players are being released from their respective teams.

The Lions are in an advantageous position when it comes to retooling their roster as they are also in the midst of a regime change. So there already figured to be more player movement than usual as a new front office and coaching staff has been installed in the Motor City headed by general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell.

Holmes and Campbell have already begun the process of fixing the wrongs of the past regime in Motown, electing to part ways with several high-priced free agents added to the team over the past few years. And that process is expected to continue in the coming days.

The Lions have reportedly released or plan to release several players. The most recent being cornerback Justin Coleman and tight end Jesse James.

Detroit made Coleman the highest-paid slot corner in the NFL back in March of 2019, inking him to a four-year deal worth $36 million. James was signed at the same time to a four-year, $25 million contract.

Coleman will end his career in the Motor City recording a combined 84 tackles, three tackles for loss, 14 pass deflections, three forced fumbles, and one interception in 27 games. James recorded 30 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns over within that same span.

If the Lions designate Coleman as a post-June 1 cut, they could save as much as $9 million on the salary cap. Doing the same to James could net up to $5 million in cap savings.

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If these reports are true, Justin Coleman and Jesse James will join a running list of veterans the Detroit Lions’ new regime has opted to part ways with this offseason. That growing list already includes linebacker Christian Jones, offensive guard Russell Bodine, cornerback Desmond Trufant, and quarterback Matthew Stafford. The latter is currently set to be traded to the Los Angeles Rams next week once the NFL’s new league year begins.