Lions release DE Armonty Bryant

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have released defensive end Armonty Bryant instead of activating him coming off of a four-game suspension.

Bryant had been suspended three times since the start of the 2016 season -- the final time for the first four games of this season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He was also suspended the first four games of last season for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy.

The Cleveland Browns released him after his first 2016 suspension ended. He was then claimed by Detroit and suspended for three games in November last year for violation of the substance abuse policy.

Bryant played in five games for the Lions in 2016, recording three sacks before injuring his knee against New Orleans -- ending his season. He re-signed with the Lions in March on a one-year, $855,000 contract, including $40,000 guaranteed.

Had the Lions kept Bryant, he would have joined a rotation featuring Cornelius Washington, George Johnson and Jeremiah Valoaga behind starters Ezekiel Ansah and Anthony Zettel. Instead, the Lions are sticking with the group they have.