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NFL trade rumors: Detroit Lions made a play for Barkevious Mingo

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The former Browns linebacker landed with the Patriots, but the Lions took their shot.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have had a thin linebacking crew all offseason. After the Lions decided to part ways with Stephen Tulloch, Detroit made a bold move in promoting Tahir Whitehead to permanent middle linebacker. Additionally, the Lions appear to be heading into to the regular season with previously-maligned Kyle Van Noy penciled in as the starting strongside linebacker. And those two risks don’t even touch the sensitive topic of DeAndre Levy and how he’ll look after missing over a year with a hip injury.

So it doesn’t come as much surprise that the Lions were reportedly in the mix for Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who was traded to the Patriots earlier on Thursday.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Lions’ attempt to trade with the Browns may have caused the Patriots to increase their offer to a fifth-round pick.

Mingo was a former first-round pick in 2013, however, his career never took off in Cleveland. In his three years with the team, Mingo started just 16 games, despite never dealing with a significant injury. Mingo, the sixth overall pick, was just not good enough to break into Cleveland’s starting lineup.

Mingo was, and still is, considered an athletic freak. He’s too small for a prototypical defensive end, but he’s deceptively strong for a linebacker. For whatever reason, he couldn’t get it together in Cleveland, but he will have his shot in New England.

As for the Lions, their interest in Mingo could be a sign that Detroit isn’t too satisfied entering the season with a guy like Van Noy in a starting position. Van Noy is essentially being handed the job, since players like Josh Bynes and Jon Bostic continue to struggle with injuries.