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McCown Skips Practice; Wants a Trade

Lions backup quarterback Josh McCown missed the first of a three-day mini-camp yesterday. The mini-camp is the first actual practice of the offseason, and although it is voluntary, Rod Marinelli wanted everyone to be there.

With the recent developments of McCown missing this practice, it obviously strengthens those trade rumors we have been hearing in the last couple of weeks.  For those who haven't been following, word slowly started to trickle out that the Lions were in talks with the Oakland Raiders about dealing Josh McCown last month.  Many, including myself, did not understand the trade as it would leave the Lions with only two quarterbacks, but as we get farther along, it all is beginning to make sense.

Josh McCown wants to be traded so he can become a starter again or at least get some playing time.  This quote from his agent says it all:

"We've got great respect for the Lions. Josh sees himself as a starter in this league, and I agree with him. The guy's a great competitor and just wants to play."

"So at this time we're going to take a deep breath, and I hope between now and draft day something can be worked out that is mutually beneficial for the Lions and Josh."

I completely understand where McCown is coming from as he didn't see the field at all in 2006 and probably won't again in 2007.  It makes total sense for him personally to want a trade, and it would for the Lions right now as well.  McCown is entering the final year of his contract, so you know he will leave Detroit and become a free agent after next season.  By trading him, the Lions could get a second day draft pick that would be better than nothing at all, so you can see why it would work for both parties.

Let's bring the Raiders back into this discussion to examine why they would want McCown.  It has been a near-lock for the last few months that JaMarcus Russell would be drafted by Oakland with the #1 overall pick, but recently things have started to shift more towards Calvin Johnson. Owner Al Davis seems to like Johnson more and more each day, so it wouldn't come as a complete shock if Oakland ended up taking C.J.  This would be even more evident if McCown was in fact traded to Oakland.  There would no longer be as pressing of a need to get a QB, so the Raiders could opt to go down the road of WR.

Oakland drafting Calvin Johnson would definitely shake up the top of the draft.  That would completely nix any trade talks the Lions had with Tampa Bay or say Atlanta and would leave Detroit with really only the option of trading down with Cleveland.  The Browns would probably love to have JaMarcus Russell, so the Lions could move down a spot, get an extra pick, and still draft the player they want.  

For an even crazier idea, what would you think if the Lions decided that trading down wasn't the best idea and went the route of drafting JaMarcus Russell.  Although I don't want a QB to be taken by the Lions, I wouldn't be that opposed to Russell as he is a great player.  It's just something to keep in mind as it would be completely out of left field.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.