With the Super Bowl in the rear-view mirror, NFL teams may start releasing veteran players.
One player who will be released or (in a less-likely scenario) traded this off-season is Detroit Lions linebacker Julian Peterson, Tom Kowalski of MLive.com reports.
Acquired from the Seattle Seahawks for defensive tackle Corey Redding and a fifth-round pick in 2009, Peterson has started 28 of his 31 games with the Lions, totaling 159 tackles and 5.5 quarterback sacks.
Kowalski notes that Peterson did not dress for the Lions’ 2010 regular season finale, a healthy scratch by head coach Jim Schwartz.
Peterson, who turns 33 in July, is due $16.5 million in base salary in the final two years of his contract. With a new collective bargaining agreement expected to include a salary cap, the Lions can wipe Peterson completely off their books, freeing up $8 million in cap room in 2011.