Detroit Lions beat writer predicts surprising (or not so surprising) roster cut

A Lions beat writer has predicted a surprising roster cut, but it may not be all that surprising if it happens.

The Detroit Lions have what Dan Campbell called a "good problem to have" after the preseason finale and now moving to roster cuts. A lot of worthy players, and not enough spots on the active roster for all of them. They've gotten there quickly, in Year 3 of the Brad Holmes-Campbell regime, which is a clear credit to the front office for finding players and the staff Campbell has assembled in developing players.

This Lions' regime immediately showed it wasn't afraid to make a surprise cut two years ago around this time. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who qualified as a notable free agent signing at the start of a rebuild, looked like a practice squader for much of training camp and the preseason. So he didn't even make it to Week 1 in a Lions' uniform.

In parallel to tough decisions, the Lions may have a surprising cut or two before Tuesday afternoon's deadline to be down to 53 players.

In his final preseason 53-man roster projection, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required) offer up a prediction for a surprise cut.

Lions beat writer predicts a "surprise" cut

Here's where Birkett predicts a surprise cut for the Lions.

"This is the toughest piece of the roster puzzle to figure out because the Lions have so many experienced hands vying for jobs on a deep defensive front,” Birkett wrote. “Holmes could alleviate the logjam by trading one of his excess linemen, but if he can’t find any takers he’ll either have to go heavy at the position or let a good player go. Romeo and Julian Okwara appear to be sixth and seventh, respectively, in the edge rush pecking order, and Buggs and Jones are vying for the starting nose tackle job. I set this roster with the Lions keeping both interior linemen. Jones played ahead of Buggs last week, but both stick based on their body of work (dating back to last year) and the fact Martin doesn’t quite look ready to contribute yet. And I left both Okwara brothers off in the toughest decision of this exercise.“"

Dave Birkett

To fully clarify, Romeo Okwara is Birkett's surprise cut. He made my list of possible surprise cuts for the Lions heading into the preseason finale, and John Maakaron of SI has Julian Okwara making the roster over his older brother in a final 53-man projection.

So while it would be broadly shocking for the Lions to cut a player who had 10 sacks in his last fully healthy season (2020), the idea they could comfortably cut Romeo Okwara is a testament to how good this roster is.

Related. Detroit Lions 2023 roster cut tracker: Who won't make the 53-man roster?. Detroit Lions 2023 roster cut tracker: Who won't make the 53-man roster?. dark