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Lions Announce Chris Houston Trade with Different Compensation

Although the Chris Houston trade was thought to be made official a week ago considering the Falcons announced the deal, the Lions didn't make an announcement of their own until earlier today.  I was reading through my e-mails on my way to class and noticed the press release and didn't even realize the trade hadn't already been confirmed by the Lions.  When I actually opened the press release, I was surprised to find that the terms of the deal were different than what was reported last week.

The Detroit Lions announced today that they have acquired CB Chris Houston  from the Atlanta Falcons for the Lions' sixth round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and a conditional seventh round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

I'm not exactly sure why the deal changed, but someone may want to alert the Falcons, who still have this on their official site:

Traded CB Chris Houston to the Detroit Lions for a sixth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and a swap of fifth-round selections

The Falcons' report on the trade is what we all thought the deal entailed.  The Lions would receive Houston in exchange for giving up a sixth-rounder and swapping fifth-rounders.  Instead, though, according to the Lions, all that was given up is a sixth-rounder this year and a conditional seventh-rounder next year.  Personally, that is an even better deal in my eyes.  I'd rather have the second pick of the fifth round than the 18th pick and an extra seventh-rounder a year from now.  Sure, you lose an extra pick, but the Lions' fifth-round pick is essentially a late fourth-rounder.  To me, not having to move down 16 spots in the fifth round is worth more than a seventh-rounder a year from now.

With the Shaun Hill trade set to become official after he takes a physical, I am under the assumption that the Lions have conditionally traded one of their seventh-round picks in 2011 and will officially trade the other one to the 49ers in the next couple of days.  The 49ers simply reported that Hill was traded for an "undisclosed 2011 draft pick," but unless that deal suddenly changes, the Lions have given up two seventh-round picks (one that is their own and another that is from the Jets for the Kevin O'Connell trade).  I don't know what is conditional about the pick involving Houston, but considering it usually involves playing time or performance, it's probably unlikely the Lions will get that pick back since he is expected to start.  Either way, this is some interesting maneuvering going on by Martin Mayhew.