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Detroit Lions inform cornerback Justin Coleman he’ll be released

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The Detroit Lions continue to vacate space ahead of the new league year, telling cornerback Justin Coleman that he will be released according to a source familiar with the situation.

Coleman joined the Lions in 2019 and signed a lucrative four-year deal worth $ 36 million after a two-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks. Like many members of the team’s defense, he was previously connected to ex-manager Matt Patricia and spent most of his first two years with New England while Patricia was still serving as the franchise’s defensive coordinator.

In Coleman’s first season with the Lions, he played 963 team-level defensive snaps, showing a consistent ability to play on the ball. He recorded the best 13 pass separations of his career and forced three fiddles.

Still, Coleman’s underlying coverage figures were worrying. He was targeted 112 times that season, the second most popular in the NFL behind only Tennessee’s Logan Ryan, who allowed 71 receptions for 869 yards and eight points.

These battles continued through 2020. Limited to 11 games due to hamstring strain in the preseason, he allowed 84.4% of the throws where he was targeted. Meanwhile the game is over. He expected a single pass separation and zero forced fiddling or interception.

Missed tackles plagued Coleman while serving with the Lions. In the past two seasons he has smelled his assignment 17 times.

Coleman was set to hit a cap of $ 11 million for the 2021 season. Its release will free nearly $ 5 million in space. The Lions also have the option to designate him for a cut on June 1st, which allows the team to split the dead money remaining on his contract over two seasons. In that case, $ 9 million would be struck off the books for the upcoming season.

Coleman is the third member of the Detroit Defense to be notified of her release last week. Linebacker Christian Jones has also been cut while cornerback Desmond Trufant has reportedly been informed that he will be sacked before the start of the league year on March 17th.

The departures of Coleman and Trufant make the Lions on the corner thin. The team will only have three under contract after Mike Ford was re-signed earlier this week. It will provide depth to keep up with planned starters Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye.

Several free agent cornerbacks are expected to be available with connections to Detroit’s new coaching staff and front office, including LaMarcus Joyner, Michael Davis, Troy Hill, and Nickell Robey-Coleman.

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Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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Dusty Kennedy