The Detroit Lions parted ways with eight players on Monday morning as part of their first wave of roster cuts. The Lions released running back Mike Bell, wide receiver Demario Ballard, wide receiver Marcus Harris, defensive tackle Montavious Stanley, linebacker DeJuan Fulghum, safety Michael Johnson and kicker Dave Rayner. The Lions also waived/injured tight end Richard Dickson.
The decision to release Rayner now rather than later in the week was made because Jason Hanson has already locked down the starting kicker job. Hanson has looked better than ever during the preseason, and it became clear he wasn't about to give up his starting job. As a result, the Lions decided to let Rayner go now to give him extra time to catch on with another NFL team.
The other notable release from the first set of cuts is Bell. He was signed along with Jerome Harrison after Mikel Leshoure went down with a season-ending injury. Both Bell and Harrison were expected to compete for a spot on the roster, and already Bell has lost that competition. There's no guarantee Harrison will make the roster, but the Lions have already decided to pass on keeping Bell.
Because only eight cuts were made, the Lions still need to get rid of two players by 4 p.m. on Tuesday to get down to 80 on their roster.