Bob Quinn said college tight ends spend so little time blocking it's difficult to assess that part of their game. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Indianapolis — The Detroit Lions still don't know what they're going to do with T.J. Lang.
The veteran offensive lineman, still under contract for the 2019 season, has battled through a number of injuries his first two years in Detroit. He appeared in just six games last season, missing time with a concussion before landing on injured reserve with a neck issue.
But when Lang, 31, has been on the field, he's been excellent, including a Pro Bowl selection in 2017.
That talent, weighed against durability concerns and a massive $11.5 million cap hit, have Lions general manager Bob Quinn still sorting through his options with Lang.
"Everyone is kind of different, in terms of the evaluation process with each player," Quinn said at Wednesday's scouting combine. "Some players, you can really have that evaluation process done a couple weeks after the season, some guys linger a little bit longer. And I'd say T.J. is in that category of someone that we're still going through the process, thinking about what we want to do, talking to T.J. a little bit here and there. Those conversations between myself and him we'll kind of keep private."
One possibility is Lang agrees to take a pay cut, something he was asked about when players cleaned out their lockers at the end of the season.
"I would be open to playing next year," Lang said. "I don’t care what anything else looks like, if I get another chance to be on this team, that would be a great opportunity to myself. You can interpret that however you want."
The Lions have a number of lingering financial decisions to make before the start of the new league year in March. So far, the team has only made one of those decisions, releasing veteran safety Glover Quin earlier this month.
That move created about $6 million in cap space. Cutting Lang would free up nearly $9 million more in space heading into free agency.