The Detroit Lions announced today that they have released guard Rodney Austin. Austin, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of Elon, had been with the team on both the active roster and the practice squad. He was kept around by the coaches and Martin Mayhew due to his potential. The problem is that he never developed as they had hoped he would. The announcement today comes as a shock considering that the team is short on guards, and that usually teams keep developmental players on the roster all offseason so they can get their work in. The release of Austin likely means the team has no plans for him, and they are letting him go while there is still time for him to catch on to another team.
At one point, Austin was coveted by the Tennessee Titans. While interest in him is currently unknown, it would not be of any surprise to see him land on a team on a try out contract.
UPDATE: Michael Rothstein of ESPN reported a possible reason for Austin’s release today. He was arrested on 4 misdemeanor charges on the 17th of April, one of those being assault on a female and another being assault on a child under the age of 12. Head coach Jim Caldwell has a no tolernce policy with domestic violence and regardless of how flagrant it was, getting arrested is enough for Caldwell to release a player with a character issue.