The housecleaning has begun for the Lions.
On Monday, Lions officials released receiver Titus Young. Tuesday, it was right guard Stephen Peterman and defensive end and captain Kyle Vanden Bosch.
The Lions saved roughly $8.5 million off the salary cap with those moves.
Vanden Bosch, 34, was a key building block for coach Jim Schwartz in 2010 and 2011, but at 34 and after neck surgery and lingering knee issues, his production declined swiftly last season.
After posting 84 tackles and 12 sacks his first two seasons, he slipped to 25 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2012. Still, he was one of the main leaders of the team and his work ethic and practice habits established a standard that had not been present before he got here.
"I didn't know management was going to go in a different direction," said defensive end Cliff Avril, who is an unrestricted free agent. "It's unfortunate that a guy like Kyle, they can't keep him for whatever reason. He's definitely going to be missed, I can tell you that."
Vanden Bosch's cap hit for 2013 would have been $10.6 million. By releasing him, they save $5 million.
With Vanden Bosch gone, the Lions have two defensive ends on the roster — Willie Young (who is a restricted free agent) and Ronnell Lewis, who played just one defensive snap last season.
Avril and Lawrence Jackson are free agents.
Peterman, 31, was in line for a $500,000 bonus March 13. By releasing him, the Lions lop $3.25 million off the salary cap.
Peterman started 86 games for the Lions since he was signed in 2006. Injuries cost him most of the 2006 season and half the 2009 season. He hasn't missed a game in the last three years.
"Stephen thought he played pretty good," said his agent, Kenny Zuckerman. "Their offensive line ranked third in pass defense and Pete only allowed four hits. I just thought they played pretty good, especially for a team that threw the ball 700 times."
Zuckerman was using research by ProFootballFocus.com. That same research showed Peterman allowed 36 pressures (which include sacks, hits and hurries) last season, more than any guard in the NFL.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130205/SPORTS0101/302050428#ixzz2K7QJ3odC
Stephen Peterman, Kyle Vanden Bosch are latest Lions to be released
Detroit News | Feb 6