One of the biggest reasons the Detroit Lions were able to turn around their franchise so quickly is because Martin Mayhew made so many trades. In 2010 especially, Mayhew made some moves that immediately upgraded the talent at positions and filled needs in the process.
Now that the Lions don't have nearly as many needs as they did in 2010, trades haven't been as common. However, the Lions haven't shied away from trying to make moves by any means (for example, they tried to move up to draft Patrick Peterson last year and also tried to trade for Asante Samuel last summer), and Mayhew said during an interview this week (audio here) that they will continue to be aggressive in the trade market.
"We really believe in using every avenue to improve whether its trades, waiver claims, free agency, the draft and we’re not just focused on one avenue to go out and try to sign players. We use everything that’s available to us and the trades sort of just happened. We haven’t done any in a while but we plan to be aggressively looking to do some trades this year."
Mayhew has shown how effective trades can be by moving lower-round draft picks for players already in the league. Shaun Hill, Rob Sims, Corey Williams, Chris Houston and Lawrence Jackson were all acquired that way, and perhaps Mayhew will go that route again this offseason in trying to fill some needs that currently exist.