Lions Officially Release CB Justin Coleman & TE Jesse James

The Detroit Lions announced Friday that they’ve officially released TE Jesse James and CB Justin Coleman.

Coleman, 27, wound up signing on with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee back in 2015. However, he was unfortunately placed on waivers at end of the preseason.

Coleman bounced around between the Patriots and Seahawks at the start of the 2015 season but later returned to New England and has spent the past two years with them. The Patriots re-signed Coleman as an exclusive rights free agent before trading him to the Seahawks for a late-round pick at the start of the 2017 season.

Coleman re-signed with the Seahawks in 2018 as a restricted free agent under the second-round tender before later agreeing to a four-year deal worth $36 million with the Lions in 2019. 

According to Over The Cap, releasing Coleman creates nearly $5 million in cap space and more than $6 million in dead money. 

In 2020, Coleman appeared in 11 games for the Lions and recorded 29 tackles, and one pass defended. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 111 cornerback out of 121 qualifying players.

James, 26, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth-round in 2015 out of Penn State.  He played out a four-year deal with the Steelers before signing a four-year, $25 million contract with Detroit in 2019. 

James was set to make a base salary of $4,950,000 for the 2021 season. 

According to, releasing will free up $2,142,000 of available cap space while creating $4,287,000 in dead money.

In 2020, James played in all 16 games for the Lions, recording 14 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

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