The new NFC Championship contenders Detroit Lions released their veteran safety Tracey Walker III, the team posted on social media.

Walker posted an apparent farewell to the Lions on Instagram.

“I want to thank my fans and supporters for always having my back through it all. I want to thank the city for holding down for me,” Walker noted. “It was many ups and downs but that’s life and life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you respond. With that being the future is bright and TTIME is coming harder than ever for Year7.!!”

According to the Roster Management System, releasing Walker will open up $5.5 million worth of cap space for the Lions. They’ll need to use some of that space to replace Walker, who played in each of their 17 games last season with six starts. He finished with 59 tackles, one forced fumble and one sack.

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There’s no doubt that Walker has seen better years in Detroit since being drafted by the Lions in the third round in 2018, but the team hasn’t seen a more hopeful Lions team than the team Walker will depart in 2024. The Lions reached their first NFC Championship game in over 32 years and led it by 17 points at halftime.

They were on the brink of a Super Bowl in what would have been their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

People can rarely become “veterans” in the NFL after six years, but players like Walker played beyond their years last season. He had a huge role in leading his team to the NFC Championship. With Walker departing, Lions fans will hope his role wasn’t too crucial to their success last season.

At 29, Walker will join free agency, and the Lions will look to use that cap space to sign a new safety and roll their success into the 2024-25 season.

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