Detroit Lions announce roster cuts, including QB Jordan Ta'amu


Roster cuts were announced by the Detroit Lions on Monday as the team continues to finalize its look ahead of the debut season for Dan Campbell's coaching staff. Detroit released wide receiver Darius Jennings, while the team waived nose tackle PJ Johnson, running back Javon Leake, linebacker Robert McCray, and quarterback Jordan Ta'amu.

Jennings, who played college football at Virginia before going undrafted in 2015, was in his first year with the Lions. He previously spent the 2020 offseason with the Los Angeles Chargers but was released just days ahead of the season. Jennings also has seen time with the Browns, Bears, Jets and Titans, though his impact in the NFL has been limited.

Johnson, a seventh-round pick out of Arizona by the Lions in 2019, had rejoined the team after failing to make the roster as a rookie two years ago. The 25-year-old has yet to make an active roster in the NFL.

Leake, who played at Maryland, went undrafted last year before being picked up by the New York Giants. The former first-team All-Big Ten selection was released before the season before signing with the Washington Football Team and spending some time on the active roster at the tail end of the regular season. He joined the Lions in April shortly after being waived by Washington.

McCray, who played college football at Indiana, went undrafted in 2018 before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, but was cut at the end of training camp that summer. After being re-signed to the practice squad and then cut again one year later at the end of the training camp, McCray signed with the Browns in late 2019, and made the active roster that December before being cut by the franchise just ahead of the 2020 season. McCray had been with Detroit since January. 

Ta'amu, an undrafted quarterback out of Ole Miss in 2019, signed with the Houston Texans that summer but was cut ahead of the season. Ta'amu then found success in the XFL reboot in 2020, emerging as the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Battlehawks. The league, however, suspended operations that March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ta'amu was previously with the Detroit practice squad at the end of the 2020 NFL season after spending the 2020 offseason with the Chiefs following the XFL shuttering its doors. He then returned to Kansas City this spring before rejoining the Lions just earlier this month after being cut by the Chiefs in May.

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The Detroit Lions will kick off their 2021 regular season at home on Sept. 12 vs. the San Francisco 49ers. The Lions' offseason, beyond the hiring of Campbell and his staff, was punctuated by a blockbuster trade that sent longtime Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff.