After back-to-back stellar seasons in 2012 and 2013 with the New England Patriots, Ridley suffered an ACL tear. He hasn't been the same runner since. The 27-year-old played eight games last season with the New York Jets, but looked slow, couldn't cut well and averaged just 2.5 yards per carry on 36 totes.
Anyone who watched the Lions this preseason understood it was unlikely Ridley would make the final roster. Ridley was playing mostly with the third-string players, and not standing out against the lower competition -- 27 yards on nine attempts (3 yards per carry).
It was going to be a steep climb for Ridley to overcome the younger players, who also stand out on special teams.
New general manager Bob Quinn, who came from New England, tried to give a shot to a veteran who produced during his years with the Pats. It didn't work out. Quinn demonstrated already he'll make quick, Belichickian-like decisions, willing to admit a mistake and move on from a player.
Cutting Ridley now allows Zenner (likely in the lead for the backup big-back role), Washington and Winn to battle for what could be two roster spots in the final weeks of the preseason.