Running back Jahvid Best hasn't played for the Lions since October 2011 because he suffered concussions, and it doesn't look like he'll ever suit up again for Detroit, either. The team announced his release on Wednesday.
An electrifying back out of California, Best was drafted by the Lions with the 30th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He totaled more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns during his first season but played in just six games in 2011 and none since.
“Jahvid is as fine a person and professional as I have ever worked with,” said Martin Mayhew, the Lions' executive vice-president of football operations and general manager. “He was the consummate teammate and always did everything asked of him. We wish Jahvid the very best in all his future endeavors and have no doubt that he will be successful in whatever path he chooses.”
It seems likely that Best's career could be coming to a close before it ever really began. It would be difficult for a team to take a chance on a player with such a lengthy history of injuries as well as someone who didn't play at all in 2012.
The Lions signed Reggie Bush this offseason, effectively ending the need to retain Best for football purposes. But it's possible Detroit held onto him long enough to ensure he became a vested veteran who received his full benefits moving forward.
“I want to thank the Detroit Lions organization for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to fulfill my dream and play in the National Football League,” Best said. “My time as a member of the Lions was a very special time in my life. My teammates, the members of the organization, the Lions' fans and the people of Detroit will hold a special place in my heart. I'll always be a Lion.”