The Furrey release
Mike Furrey told reporters in Tampa Bay for the Super Bowl today that he had been released. It's a little bit of a surprise considering the lack of depth at receiver the Lions had on their roster, but not totally unexpected since Furrey's season ended in such animosity last year.
Furrey, you recall, was placed on injured reserve Dec. 1 with lingering symptoms from a concussion. He said at the time he was fit to play, but after missing three consecutive games (and playing in just nine) general manager Martin Mayhew didn't agree.
As good a season as he had three years ago when he caught 98 passes, Furrey didn't fit into the Lions' long-term plans. He was little help as a return man, his toughness came into question after he signed a three-year deal following his breakout season, and the Lions are in the process of cleaning out some of the veteran excess tainted by Matt Millen's eight-year run.
With Shaun McDonald scheduled for free agency, receiver is now a definite position of need this offseason (though not to the level where Michael Crabtree or anyone else will be considered atop the draft). Chris Hannon (Dolphins) and Adam Jennings (Falcons) were claimed off waivers late in the season, Travis Taylor signed as a free agent, and John Standeford and Reggie Ball are both under contract. None of the above seems like a suitable No. 2 to pair with Calvin Johnson, though in fairness Furrey wouldn't have filled that role, either.
Cutting Furrey now is a ho-hum move in my opinion. The Lions save on his $1.85-million salary, Furrey gets a chance to latch on somewhere else immediately, and the Lions are flush with third and fourth receivers, guys capable of pulling down the 30 or 40 balls that would have come Furrey's way.