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Lions release Rayner, Bell

The Detroit Lions have released eight players, including kicker Dave Rayner, running back Mike Bell and defensive back Michael Johnson.

Rayner was in a battle with veteran Jason Hanson for the kicking duties, but the longtime Lion apparently won out and reportedly received a new contract. Hanson, who will enter his 20th season with the Lions, was hurt last year in a November game against the Jets and Rayner was signed as his replacement.

Bell was signed by the Lions earlier this summer after rookie Mikel Leshoure was lost for the season with a torn Achilles, while Johnson was also signed earlier this month after spending four seasons and starting 35 games with the New York Giants.

Detroit also released defensive lineman Montavious Stanley, wide receivers Demario Ballard and Marcus Harris, linebacker DeJuan Fulghum and tight end Richard Dickson.