Detroit Lions release veteran safety Tracy Walker III

The Detroit Lions released veteran safety Tracy Walker III, the team posted on social media Tuesday night.

Walker posted an apparent goodbye to Detroit on Instagram earlier on Tuesday.

"Detroit I want to thank you for welcoming me in as rookie and accepting me as family," he wrote, thanking the Ford family for the past six seasons with the franchise.

"I want to thank my fans and supporters for always having my back through it all. I want to thank the city for holding down for me," he added. "It was many ups and downs but that's life and life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you respond. With that being the future is bright and TTIME is coming harder than ever for Year7.!!"

Releasing Walker creates $5.5 million in 2024 salary cap space for the Lions, according to the Roster Management System.

Walker, 29, appeared in all 17 games last season, making six starts. He finished with 59 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and 1 sack.

The Lions drafted Walker in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft as the 82nd overall pick out of Louisiana. During much of his first four seasons, Walker was a big part of the Lions' secondary -- agreeing to a three-year, $25 million extension on March 15, 2022 -- before tearing his Achilles in Week 3, which forced him to miss the remainder of the 2022 season.

Walker would return in mainly a backup role this past season, although he did start five games when C.J. Gardner-Johnson suffered a torn pectoral muscle. He lost his starting position during the second half of the season to Ifeatu Melifonwu.

Walker has eclipsed 100 tackles twice in his career, in 2019 (103) and 2021 (108). In 79 games (43 starts) he has 398 tackles, 3 interceptions and 4 sacks.

ESPN staff writer Eric Woodyard contributed to this report.