When the Lions announced the terms of the Chris Houston trade, there was confusion over the fact that they were different than what the Falcons had previously announced a week or so earlier. It turned out that the terms of the deal changed before the trade was truly official, but nobody could figure out what exactly happened to cause the change. Unsurprisingly both the Lions and Falcons stayed quiet on the matter, not wanting to share the details of what went on behind the scenes.
Thanks to Pro Football Talk, though, we now have one possible explanation for the change in the terms, and boy does it make me think even more highly of Martin Mayhew.
So what happened? According to a separate source, the Lions contacted the Falcons and said that Houston could not pass the physical imposed by Lions' doctors. We're told that the Lions also said that perhaps Houston could pass the physical if the terms of the deal were adjusted.
And so the terms of the deal were adjusted, and Houston passed the physical.
In other words, the Lions weren't content with the original terms of the deal, so they played some hardball to give up less and it worked. It was definitely a risky proposition considering the Falcons could have easily told the Lions to screw off and scrapped the trade, but the payoff is not having to swap fifth-round picks in exchange for possibly having to give up a seventh-rounder in 2011.
All I can say is job well done, Martin Mayhew, although we probably shouldn't expect the Lions and Falcons to be trading partners again anytime soon.