Detroit Lions helmet shown on field.

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The Detroit Lions have released a veteran defensive player, one year after giving him a $33 million deal in free agency.

On Thursday afternoon, the Detroit Lions announced that they have released cornerback Cam Sutton from his contract. This comes a day after it was reported that an arrest warrant has been issued against the 29-year-old.

According to ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, authorities have spent the last two weeks trying to locate Sutton. The arrest warrant stems from allegations that he was involved in a domestic violence incident.

Per Woodyard, Sutton faces a potential five-year prison sentence for domestic battery by strangulation in Lutz, Florida. The alleged incident took place on March 7:

“Phil Martello, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, told ESPN on Wednesday that police have been unable to locate Sutton since March 7, when the arrest warrant was issued. Police had responded to a call early that morning at a house in Lutz, Florida, where Sutton allegedly battered a woman before fleeing the scene.”

Sutton signed the three-year, $33 million contract with the Detroit Lions after spending his first six NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sutton was one of several new defensive backs added to the Detroit defense, along with rookie Brian Branch and veterans C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley.

The Tennessee product had a tough season with the Detroit Lions, however. Though he had an interception and six pass breakups, Sutton allowed a 67.0 completion percentage when targeted and a woeful 112.3 passer rating, according to Pro Football Reference.

Though the Detroit Lions’ pass defense remained a weak link in 2023, they still managed to win the franchise’s first division title since 1993. The club also reached the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1991, narrowly losing to the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.

Detroit Lions Could Draft A CB In Round 1

The Lions made one big splash on the cornerback market last week, acquiring former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Carlton Davis via trade. The Super Bowl 55 champion and ball-hawking specialist should immediately serve as an upgrade over Sutton in that secondary.

With the No. 29 selection in this year’s draft, don’t be surprised if the Detroit Lions end up selecting another cornerback to round out their secondary. There aren’t any other major weaknesses on the roster, and 2023 proved that Detroit could very well use all the secondary help they can get.

Some of the top cornerback prospects that could be available for the Detroit Lions include Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, Clemson’s Nate Wiggins and Iowa State’s T.J. Tampa.