Lions cut captain, veteran guard T.J. Lang

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

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The Detroit Lions have cut veteran T.J. Lang with one year remaining on the three-year free-agent contract the sides agreed to in 2017.

‘Everything you could want’

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In a statement posted to Twitter and attributed to Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia spoke highly of Lang.

The Detroit Lions released veteran guard T.J. Lang on Friday. (AP)
The Detroit Lions released veteran guard T.J. Lang on Friday. (AP)

“We would like to personally thank T.J. Lang for his two seasons with the Lions. He represented everything you could want from a football player and team captain,” the statement said. “We all publicly saw him perform on the field at a very high level, but what was seen in the building every day was a player who had great leadership, professionalism and passion for the game of football.

“It meant a lot for T.J. to play in his home city [he grew up in Royal Oak, a Detroit suburb] and we have the utmost respect for him as a man. We wish T.J. and his family all the best in the future.”

Lang and the Lions agreed to a three-year, $28.5 million contract with $19 million fully guaranteed in March 2017. Lang was a Pro Bowler with Detroit in 2017, and also in 2016, his last season with the Green Bay Packers.

He was due a $500,000 roster bonus next week, and had a base salary of $8.25 million for 2019.

Lang has fun with news

The 31-year-old Lang had some fun with the news, using a meme from the classic comedy, “Friday”:

Lang missed 10 games last season due to a neck injury, and three in 2017 to concussion and back and foot injuries.

Would have stayed for less money

Via the Detroit Free Press, Lang said in January that he would be open to returning to the Lions for another season, and was willing to take a pay cut.

“I would be open to playing next year,” Lang said. “I don’t care what anything else looks like, if I get another chance to be on this team, then that would be a great opportunity.”

But Free Press reporter Dave Birkett wrote on Friday that the Lions did not discuss that option with Lang.

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