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Lions release tackle Rick Wagner

The Lions have released veteran right tackle Rick Wagner ahead of the start of free agency next week.

Wagner had two years remaining on the five-year deal he signed with the Lions in free agency ahead of the 2017 season. He was the 59th graded tackle in football last year by Pro Football Focus.

Wagner's release saves the Lions around $6 million toward their cap, but it does thin their numbers at tackle.

The Lions have starting left tackle Taylor Decker, swing tackle Tyrell Crosby, Matt Nelson, Dan Skipper and Casey Tucker currently on the roster. Crosby could be a potential replacement for Wagner at right tackle. He's played in 26 games with seven starts at both tackle spots his first two seasons in the league. He was particularly good starting at right tackle in place of Wagner (knee) to end this past season.

The Lions could also turn to free agency to boost their numbers at tackle. Jack Conklin (Titans), Anthony Castonzo (Colts), Bryan Bulaga (Packers), D.J. Humphries (Cardinals) and Germain Ifedi (Seahawks) are just a few of the names of potential free agent fits.

Next month's NFL Draft includes names like: Andrew Thomas (Georgia), Mekhi Becton (Louisville), Tristan Wirfs (Iowa), Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama), Josh Jones (Houston) and others.

Wagner's release Friday certainly boosts the chances the Lions look even harder in free agency and the draft for more help along their offensive line.

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