Lions cutting Justin Coleman as defensive makeover continues


The new-look Lions are cutting another starting cornerback.

The club plans to release Justin Coleman "in the coming days," according to Tom Pelissero. This comes a few days after the reported release of Desmond Trufant as the new regime continues to overhaul a defense that gave up the most yards and the most points in the NFL last season.

The move could save the Lions as much as $9 million in cap space each of the next two seasons, a boon for head coach Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes.

Coleman, who signed a four-year, $36 million deal with Detroit in 2019, was set to have a cap hit of $11 million in 2021. If the Lions designate him a post-June 1 cut, they'll save $9 million this year and next, according to Over The Cap.

If it's a pre-June 1 designation, they'll save $4.9 million this year and $6.9 million next year.

Coleman never lived up to his contract after Detroit made him the highest-paid nickel in the NFL. While he did show a nose for the ball in his first season, he was consistently beat in one-on-one matchups. He allowed a passer rating in coverage of 135.0 last season, according to Pro-Football-Reference.

With both Coleman and Trufant out of the picture, the Lions are prepared to turn to Amani Oruwariye and 2020 third overall pick Jeff Okudah as their top two corners next season.

Coleman is the third defensive casualty of the previous regime, potentially the fourth. The Lions have also released starting LB Christian Jones and are prepared to part ways with starting DE Romeo Okwara.