Skip to main content

Lions Have Officially Released Former 2nd Round Pick

Kerryon Johnson running with the football.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball while playing the New England Patriots at Ford Field on September 23, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions

The #Lions announced today that they have waived RB Kerryon Johnson.

— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 6, 2021

">officially waived reserve running back Kerryon Johnson on Thursday afternoon. Instead of looking for some trade value in the fourth-year backup, the franchise will simply cut their losses and go with recently-acquired free agent Jamaal Williams at the RB2 position behind starter D'Andre Swift.

Selected by the Lions with a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Johnson spent the past three seasons in Detroit. During that time, the former Auburn standout amassed 1,225 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns from the third-string RB position.

But, even with this hit to backfield depth, Detroit's running back corps should be in decent hands heading into 2021.

Behind former starter Adrian Peterson in 2020, Swift, a rookie running back out of Georgia, showed promise as the Lions' RB1 of the future -- logging 521 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns through four starts. Now joining the roster from the divisional-rival Packers, Williams should provide similar production off the bench that he did behind starting RB Aaron Jones in Green Bay.

This is the second significant offensive move made by the Lions today. Earlier this morning, the organization made Frank Ragnow the highest paid center in the NFL with a massive four-year contract.

Behind a newly-motivated Ragnow and top-10 offensive line draft pick Penei Sewell, the Lions running back unit should be able to thrive even without the help of Johnson.