Veteran Tony Semple among 13 released

The Detroit Lions got to the 53-man limit today by releasing 13 players including veteran guard Tony Semple. While Semple's release was surprising to some, he was simply outplayed by younger players.

(ALLEN PARK) - The Detroit Lions got to the 53-man limit today by releasing 13 players including veteran guard Tony Semple.

Following Semple on the waiver wire were G Kerlin Blaise, S Lamar Campbell, RB Autry Denson, CB Gerald Dixon, G/C Tyrone Hopson, T Ben Johnson, WR David Kircus, DT Antwan Lake, LB Jody Littleton, TE Matt Murphy, CB Jemeel Powell, and DE Jonathan Taylor.

While Semple's release was surprising to some, the handwriting had been on the wall for sometime. Semple was lining up regularly with the second and third units and the 10-year veteran, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent from Memphis, simply had run out of gas.

More surprising was the release of Blaise and Campbell. Campbell, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin. In the end Campbell became a situational player only excelling on special teams.

Beset by injuries his entire tenure in Detroit, only once in his six years in Detroit was "Soup" able to suit up for all sixteen games and Detroit simply ran out of patience. The move means 6th round pick Terrence Holt, who ironically excelled on special teams at N.C. State, beats out Campbell for the final safety position.

Blaise had shown enough versatility that it was assumed he'd make the team. Instead he was one of three guards released. The move means that Eric Beverly becomes the both the starting left guard and the backup center. Beverly can also play tight end.

The cuts also mean that Matt Murphy, the third year veteran from Maryland, was beaten out for a roster spot by unheralded and undrafted rookie free agent Casey Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons was the story of training camp playing nearly flawless ball after arriving as a virtual unknown from tiny Carrol College in Helena, Montana.

Dixon, Johnson, Kircus, Powell and Taylor are all candidates for Detroit's practice squad roster, which will be released tomorrow, as is former Grand Valley State University standout quarterback Curt Anes. Anes was released in last week's cut down to 65 prior to the Buffalo game.

Detroit will announce the squad tomorrow in advance of Thursday night's NFL season opening kickoff classic.


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