Allen Park, Mich. - The Detroit Lions announced today that they have released DE Kalimba Edwards and RB Kevin Jones.
"As I've said all along, we will always make decisions that we believe are in the best interest of our entire football team," Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli said. "As the off-season has evolved from our postseason roster evaluation - to the Combine - to the free agency period - we feel we've made several moves to improve our team.
"With the off-season program beginning next week and with our draft preparation intensifying, we decided this was the right time to make these two roster moves. While there are always a number of factors that go into this type of decision, we do believe these moves bring clarity to our roster and also eliminate some uncertainty heading into the draft that would have otherwise existed.
"We sincerely appreciate the contributions that Kevin and Kalimba have made to our football team and we wish them the very best. We appreciate their hard work and professionalism during their time with the Lions."
Edwards (6-6, 265) spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Lions. During his career, the veteran defensive end has amassed 190 tackles (115 solo), 26.0 sacks (158.5 yards), eight pass defenses, eight fumble recoveries and eight forced fumbles in 87 career games (22 starts). Edwards played in eight games (six starts) in 2007 while totaling 25 tackles (14 solo), 3.0 sacks (23 yards), one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles. In 2002, he was the first Lion to lead the team in sacks (6.5) as a rookie since Tracy Scroggins (7.5) in 1992. Edwards was selected by the Lions in the second round (35th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft out of South Carolina.
Jones (5-11, 228) played the first four seasons of his NFL career with Detroit and has recorded 3,067 rushing yards on 750 attempts (4.1 avg.) and 24 touchdowns. He has caught 141 passes for 1,006 yards (7.1 avg.) and three touchdowns as a receiver. Overall, Jones has tallied 4,075 total yards and 27 touchdowns in 53 career games (49 starts). In 2007, returned to the gridiron in Week 3 at Philadelphia (9/23) after recovering from a foot injury suffered at the end of 2006. He finished the year with 153 rushes for 581 yards and a career-high eight rushing touchdowns. His season was cut short when he suffered a knee injury vs. Kansas City (12/23).
As a receiver out of the backfield, Jones' most productive year was in 2006 when he caught a career-best 61 receptions and tied for fourth in the NFL among running backs. His 61 receptions are the second-most by a Lions running back in team history. Jones' 520 receiving yards were the fifth-best tally by a Lions' running back in team history.
During his rookie season in 2004, Jones was named an alternate for the Pro Bowl when he led the team with 1,133 rushing yards on 241 attempts (4.7 avg.) and tallied five rushing touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the NFC in rushing and tied for second in the NFL with 11 rushes of 20-or-more yards. With 1,133 yards on 241 carries (4.7 avg.), he became the fifth player (17th time overall) in team history to gain 1,000 yards in a single season and fourth running back to rush for over 1,100 yards in a single season. The Virginia Tech standout was chosen by the Lions in the first round (30th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft.