Players always talk about football being a business. As a 12-year veteran, no one knows that better than Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Even after he was notified Tuesday of his release from the Detroit Lions.
"There’s definitely no hard feelings," he told Detroitlions.com. "I appreciate the opportunity the Ford Family gave me and the opportunity coach Schwartz gave me and all the respect I got from everyone in the organization."
General manager Martin Mayhew said after the season there would be significant roster turnover and the Lions began the cleaning process Tuesday with the release of Vanden Bosch and guard Stephen Peterman.
Those two releases, coupled with the release of receiver Titus Young on Monday, cleared $8.5 million, helping the Detroit Lions to drop under the projected $121 million cap for 2013.
Vanden Bosch, who was due a $2 million roster bonus in March and $5 million in base salary for 2013, said he knew this was a possibility three years ago when he signed a four-year, $26 million deal in free agency.
"I gave everything I had for three years and I understood when I signed my contract that there were going to be some decisions that had to be made after the third year because of how the contract was written up," he said.
"I just understand that my time was up and I feel a tremendous amount of pride in what I gave to the organization.
"Coach Schwartz brought me in to help change the culture and change the attitude and the first day I got there I gave it everything I had. The thing I will miss is the relationships I developed. The thing that I appreciate is the respect I got from everyone in the organization."
A number of Detroit Lions players - including
• DE Cliff Avril (@cliffavril): "Heard they just release the one guy that took me under his wing, a great teammate, a great person, my brother KVB…"
• LB Stephen Tulloch (@stephentulloch): "I’ve had the honor to have played with Kyle Vanden Bosch for 6 years. He’s a true workhorse. KVB is the example of what being Pro is all about"
• DT Sammie Hill (@sammoi91): "They jus let go the heart and soul of the best dline in NFL, been a honor and privilege to play with the greatest leader in my career."
Vanden Bosch says he’ll miss the relationships forged over the last three years the most.
"That’s the thing that’s always been the most important to me, just the impact that I have on other players and the pride I took as a leader," he said. "The thing that’s important to me is my legacy.
"I was just somebody who did things the right way and didn’t take anything for granted. It was important to me that while I was playing (I was giving) 100 percent every practice and every game so that if I don’t get to play another snap then I could look back and just be proud of what I did and have no regrets and have the respect of the people I played with and played against."
He said he has no regrets about his time in Detroit, other than not being able to finish the job he was brought in to help start.
"I was hoping to lead the organization into a better position," he said. "I was hoping to be a part of a turnaround. After the first two years it seemed like we were there and then we took a step backward and I’ve been around long enough to understand that when that happens a lot of things change."
Asked about his future, Vanden Bosch said it's hard to tell, but did not close the door on continuing his career.
"I feel like I still have a lot to offer," he said. "I know that at this point in the offseason, I’m the healthiest I’ve been in a couple years.
"I love the game of football. I love every part of it; the preparation, the workouts, the film study and obviously playing, so if I get another opportunity I’m make the most of it.
"If I don’t, I won’t look back and have any regrets. I’ll look back at my whole body of work and some of the things I’ve overcome and the leadership I’ve provided and I’m very proud of that."
Vanden Bosch said a possible return to the Lions for a reduced salary has not been discussed.