The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching. If teams are interested in making any moves, they have to get them done by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. There has been a lot of speculation over the last month about potential trades, and the next day or so will show us just how much of that speculation was really on target.
For the Detroit Lions especially, the next day or so will really be interesting as it relates to possible trades. There have been rumors for weeks about the Lions potentially trading running back Mikel Leshoure or going out and getting a wide receiver, but they have not made a move so far. Will that change before the trade deadline? It remains to be seen, but the speculation has not died down at all about a possible Lions trade.
Case in point: Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday morning that the Lions have been "calling around the league" to see if Leshoure has any trade value. With Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick ahead of him on the depth chart, and with Montell Owens set to return from injured reserve soon, Leshoure is definitely expendable. If the Lions can get any value out of Leshoure, trading him would make sense.
In terms of adding a player via a trade, La Canfora reports that the Lions are among the teams "deep in the process of trying to land another pass catcher." La Canfora notes that the Lions have been trying to add help at wide receiver since the summer, so it's not like their interest in acquiring one simply began with the injury to Nate Burleson or the more recent injury to Ryan Broyles.
At this point, a deal for Josh Gordon or Kenny Britt remains unlikely because of their character concerns. La Canfora mentioned Greg Little and Jon Baldwin as lower-profile options on the market, and Hakeem Nicks remains at the center of trade speculation despite a deal for him seeming pretty unlikely. (Also, how about the rumors of Larry Fitzgerald being moved next offseason?)
Considering the Lions have gone this long without making a trade for a wide receiver, I'd be pretty surprised if one happens before the deadline, especially when you consider how their in-season trade for Mike Thomas worked out last year. Burleson should be back after the bye, and Kris Durham and Kevin Ogletree have stepped it up as of late. The Lions could certainly use a guy like Nicks or Gordon, but I personally don't see it happening.
If the Lions don't trade Leshoure or add a wide receiver, could a different deal be in the works? There has been some talk about the Lions making a move to get defensive end Jason Babin from the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has familiarity with the Lions' system after playing for assistant defensive line coach Jim Washburn in Philadelphia, and it's not like the Lions' defensive ends have been doing a whole lot lately. It's true that Babin has seen better days (he only has 2.0 sacks this year), but perhaps he'd be worth a late-round pick with the hope that he would put up bigger numbers in Detroit's system. (And speaking of defensive ends, there's talk that the Minnesota Vikings may trade Jared Allen.)
In any case, there seems like a lot more activity leading up to the trade deadline than in past years. That doesn't mean there will be a flurry of deals or anything like that, but there is a lot of intrigue surrounding teams like the Lions as the deadline nears.