DETROIT - The Detroit Lions cut cornerback Alphonso Smith and punter Ryan Donahue, two of the notable players released as the team trimmed its roster to 53 players on Friday night.
Detroit determined Smith wasn't good enough to help its desperate need for defensive backs and chose punter Ben Graham over Donahue.
The Lions acquired Smith from the Denver Broncos nearly two years ago for tight end Dan Gronkowski. Smith had three interceptions in 11 games last season, including one start, and has eight interceptions in his three-year career. Denver drafted Smith out of Wake Forest in the second round with the 37th pick in the 2009 draft and he started 10 games and made five interceptions during the 2010 season.
Graham was Detroit's punter for the final seven games of last season. He replaced Robert Malone, who filled in for one game for the injured Donahue. A native of Australia, Graham has also played for the New York Jets, New Orleans and Arizona.
The other players cut by the Lions were: receivers Maurice Stovall, Patrick Edwards, Lance Long, Nate Hughes, Wallace Miles, defensive backs Justin Miller, Reshard Langford, Ross Weaver, tight ends Austin Wells, Alex Gottlieb, offensive linemen Dan Gerberry, Rodney Austin, Pat Boyle, linebacker Carmen Messina, defensive linemen Andre Fluellen, Everette Brown, Ugo Chinasa, Edmon McClam and Tracy Robertson.
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