Lions general manager Bob Quinn said at the NFL scouting combine last week that the team was still deciding on what to do with the former Pro Bowler, whom the team signed to a three-year deal before the 2017 season.
"We would like to personally thank T.J. Lang for his two seasons with the Lions. He represented everything you could want from a football player and team captain," Quinn and Lions head coach Matt Patricia said in a joint statement. "We all publicly saw him perform on the field at a very high level, but what was seen in the building every day was a player who had great leadership, professionalism and passion for the game of football.
"It meant a lot for T.J. to play in his home city and we have the utmost respect for him as a man. We wish T.J. and his family all the best in the future."
By releasing the 31-year-old Lang, the Lions saved $8,843,750 in cap room and also avoided paying him a $750,000 roster bonus that would have been due next week.
"I'd like to express my sincerest appreciation to the Detroit Lions organization, particularly Bob Quinn, for allowing a kid from Ferndale a chance to accomplish a dream of mine and play for my hometown team," Lang said Friday on Twitter. "... Thanks to you, the fans, for taking me in as one of your own 2 years ago. The love and support has been overwhelming."
Injuries hampered Lang's career with the Lions and, even toward the end of the season, he said he wasn't sure what his future was going to hold.
Lang made the Pro Bowl in back-to-back years in 2016 with Green Bay and 2017 with the Lions. And when he was healthy, Lang was a good asset for the Lions.
But he dealt with injuries throughout his two seasons in Detroit, including being limited to six games last season while dealing with a concussion and a neck injury among other ailments.
Before going to Detroit, Lang was a stalwart at right guard for Green Bay. Between the Lions and Packers, he has played in 138 games, starting 113 of them.