Training camp is well underway for the Detroit Lions and they have already made their first five cuts of camp as they had to get down to 85 players on their roster by Tuesday at 4:oo p.m. ET. That being said, the Lions will eventually have to trim their roster all the way down to 53 players and you can bet there will be a couple of players who are surprise cuts. Could one of those surprise cuts be offensive lineman, Halapoulivaati Vaitai?
Well, on Wednesday, Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report released an article in which he takes a look at one cut each NFL team should make and he names Vaitai as the player the Lions should move on from.
Writer suggests Detroit Lions should cut Halapoulivaati Vaitai
From Bleacher Report:
The Detroit Lions spent significantly to build arguably the NFL’s best offensive line. However, one of their big investments simply has not met expectations.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai is the weakest link among the starting five, per Pro Football Focus, and his level of play isn’t commensurate with his pay. Vaitai signed a five-year, $45 million contract prior to the 2020 season when the Lions were trying to build up their trenches.
Today, Taylor Decker is rock-solid at left tackle. Left guard Jonah Jackson went to his first Pro Bowl last season. Frank Ragnow is one of the league’s better centers. And Penei Sewell is one of the game’s most promising young tackles heading into his second campaign.
A release of Vaitai would save Detroit $7 million, and his spot can be capably filled by Evan Brown, who started 12 games last season in place of an injured Ragnow, Logan Stenberg or Tommy Kraemer.
Personally, I don’t see why the Lions could cut Halapoulivaati Vaitai before the 2022 season.
Even though Vaitai may be the weakest link on the Lions’ offensive line, he was solid in 2021, and finding solid offensive linemen is not an easy thing to do. Unless there is a free agent out there that Brad Holmes needs an extra $7 million for, it would be very smart to hang on to Vaitai.