LIONS INSIDER

Lions release Leroy Harris

Posted Mar 3, 2014

The departure of the veteran Harris saves the team close to $2 million in cap space

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters down at the NFL Scouting Combine last month the team was formulating a plan for life after Dominic Raiola.

Raiola, 35, is coming off the best season of his 13-year career, and he signed a one-year deal this offseason to be the team’s center in 2014. But beyond that, the team doesn’t have a long-term plan in place on the roster.

Leroy Harris, Dylan GandyLeroy Harris and Dylan Gandy (Photo: Gavin Smith)

“I think if you go back, the (Jeff) Backus transition went pretty smoothly by going out and finding the right candidate, a guy that we felt comfortable with that could move into that role and we hope to do sort of the same thing with Dom’s situation,” Mayhew said.

“Whether it’s a young free agent or whether it’s a guy in the draft to get a young guy behind him that we feel comfortable with.”

Finding the center of the future, and a new backup for the 2014 season, became a little more important on Monday with the team releasing veteran Leroy Harris.

Harris spent just one season in Detroit and played just one snap, so the move make sense moving forward. The Lions will also save around $2 million toward next year’s salary cap with the move.

Longtime backup center Dylan Gandy is also not returning in 2014, so the Lions will certainly be on the lookout for someone to add at the position alongside Raiola and Darren Keyton, who the team signed to a future deal earlier this offseason.

The Lions are high on interior lineman Rodney Austin, but consider him a better prospect at guard.