Kyle Vanden Bosch has been in the NFL long enough to know the business realities.
That’s why he won’t let being released by the Lions affect his personal relationships, or the guest list for his wedding this offseason.
Vanden Bosch told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press he knew what was coming when he was called to general manager Martin Mayhew’s office last week, give his age (34), declining production (3.5 sacks last year) and the Lions’ tight cap situation.
But he said that wouldn’t change the way he feels about the Lions, and that coach Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and defensive line coaches Kris Kocurek and Jim Washburn will be at his wedding next month.
Asked if that might be awkward, Vanden Bosch said it wouldn’t.
“Not for me,” he said. “I consider them friends, that’s with all of them. And anytime I get an opportunity to attend a Lions game I’ll always be the biggest Lions fan.
“Really, my whole experience just from the players I got to play with and the respect I got from my teammates and from the fans – the fans have been tremendous – and the coaches. . . . Sometimes you work at a place and there’s people you don’t get along with, people you don’t like, but truly the relationships are what I’m going to miss.”
Vanden Bosch was a priority signing for them in 2010, with Schwartz visiting his house at midnight at the start of free agency. But that didn’t overshadow the economic realities this year, as the Lions couldn’t afford a $2 million roster bonus in March or a $5 million base salary.
Vanden Bosch said he wasn’t asked to take a pay cut, and didn’t know if he’d play again or not.
“I don’t feel like I’m fully equipped to make that decision right now,” he said. “But like I said, I’m just going to continue to work and if the right opportunity arises then I’ll consider it.”
Vanden Bosch added some leadership and character to a team that lacked enough of it, and that will be harder to replace than his pass-rush ability.