The Detroit Lions announced today that they have released 11-year veteran defensive end
“(Releasing him) was in response to their request to have that happen now, rather than later, so that Jared could have the opportunity to explore all of his potential options as he continues his rehab from last year’s injury,” said Team President Tom Lewand.
“We were willing to grant that to him, I think, based in no small measure on the kind of person and player he’s been for us for 11 years.”
DeVries suffered a ruptured Achilles during training camp last season and the Lions placed him on the Reserved/Injured list.
DeVries continued to rehab in Allen Park and was asked by the coaching staff if he would be willing to sit it on team meetings and travel with the team as a help to the defensive line and the defense as a whole.
“Anytime somebody’s going through a rehabilitation with an injury like Jared’s, it takes time,” said Lewand. “I will say that Jared’s rehab has been very, very good; the reports that we’ve been getting have been nothing but positive.”
As the Lions have opened dialogue with many of the players on the current roster, the organization reached out to DeVries and his agent to discuss his current contract.
“He had a roster bonus that was coming up in a couple of weeks and I think that was something that prompted some discussion, but it was more than that,” said Lewand.
“We just wanted to make sure that we handled this in a way that was very respectful of Jared as a person, as a player, and in light of the contributions that he’s made to our franchise.”
The Lions selected DeVries in the third round (70th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft out of the University of Iowa. He has played in 119 total games as a Lion with 31 starts, his stats highlighted by 16.5 career sacks and seven forced fumbles.
“I think it’s important to point out that we have not foreclosed the possibility of bringing Jared back,” said Lewand. “We will maintain a dialogue with both Jared and with Mark Bartelstein – Jared’s representative. They really felt this was best option for them at this time to see what else might be out there and for Jared to be able to properly evaluate the options he has going forward.
“We think the world of Jared. He was the epitome of a professional and has been for his entire career. We certainly hope that that ongoing dialogue that we have with him is productive and we wish Jared nothing but the best, whether that’s continuing in a Honolulu blue and silver uniform or whether it’s another chapter in his career.”