Lions release RB Jones, DE Edwards

The Detroit Lions cut running back Kevin Jones and defensive end Kalimba Edwards on Thursday.

"As I've said all along, we will always make decisions that we believe are in the best interest of our entire football team," Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli said. "As the offseason has evolved from our postseason roster evaluation -- to the combine -- to the free agency period -- we feel we've made several moves to improve our team."

The 5-foot-11, 228-pound Jones missed the start and the end of last season with foot and knee injuries. He has played four pro seasons, all with Detroit.

Jones has 750 career carries for 3,067 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has also caught 141 passes for 1,006 yards and three touchdowns. Jones, the 30th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, was named an alternate for the Pro Bowl after his rookie season when he led the team with 1,133 rushing yards on 241 attempts (4.7 avg.) and tallied five rushing touchdowns.

The 6-6, 265-pound Edwards has spent all six of his NFL seasons with the Lions, totaling 26 career sacks. A second-round pick in 2002, Edwards played in eight games (six starts) in 2007 while totaling 25 tackles (14 solo), 3.0 sacks (23 yards), one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.

"With the offseason program beginning next week and with our draft preparation intensifying, we decided this was the right time to make these two roster moves," Marinelli said. "We sincerely appreciate the contributions that Kevin and Kalimba have made to our football team and we wish them the very best.

The Lions announced the re-signing running back Tatum Bell to a one-year deal and signed restricted free-agent safety Kalvin Pearson to a three-year deal. The club also re-signed offensive tackle George Foster this week.

Bell appears to be in line for an expanded role in the Lions offense this season under coordinator Jim Colletto, who has promised a more balanced attack. He was acquired by the Lions before last season in a trade with the Denver Broncos. He had 44 carries for 182 yards for the Lions while starting the first five games of the season.

Pearson spent the last three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He led Tampa Bay in special teams tackles with 21 last season.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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