The Detroit Lions have improved their roster so much from 2016 that it’s difficult to fully quantify, but the trade rumors surrounding second-year quarterback Jake Rudock might be the perfect way to encapsulate just how much Bob Quinn has done in a year. The third preseason game is usually when teams start to showcase players they are trying to shop for trade and Rudock went 10 of 13 for 113 yards and a TD. He was really the only player that the team could have been considering to have showcased, at first glance, but this is the time of year where teams do their roster churning and trades like the Kyle Brindza for Tim Wright trade are a possibility. Here are six trades the Lions may consider before the regular season begins. Be sure to let us know in the comments what move you’d like to see, and if it isn’t mentioned here give us a shout for who you think the team could move.
Jake Rudock to the New York Jets
The easiest trade is the first one mentioned. Never in my wildest dreams would I have considered a Jake Rudock trade possible in 2016, where he never looked even serviceable as a backup let alone starter material. I still have my doubts that Rudock could ever start in the NFL for any length of time, but Ian Rappaport reporting that teams are interested coupled with the Chicago Bears trying to poach him late in 2016 opens the door for a real trade possibility. We’re not talking first-round picks here, but the trade value begins at a 2018 sixth-round pick. The Jets are likely to be picking early in the round, the Lions mid to late, and a move up in the round would be the lowest value you could get for him. More likely the Lions are starting at a 4th and letting teams talk them down from there. With no regular season action and only seven middling preseason games worth of production, it’s unlikely the team could realistically get anything more than a fifth, and that would be a huge victory for Bob Quinn.
Jared Abbrederis to the Chicago Bears
There are going to be some difficult decisions to make for Detroit both in their secondary and in their receiving corps. They’re deep at both positions and could be looking to make a late trade to offload someone that might end up cut anyway. Abbrederis has a decent shot of making the roster, but if the team feels TJ Jones will be healthy soon enough and with Jace Billingsley receiving a ton of work showcasing his versatility, I think Abbrederis is the sixth man on a roster that may only keep four or five.
With the gruesome injury to Cameron Meredith, the Chicago Bears are going to be scouring for a receiver and it’s possible the will Lions target Abbrederis more than usual against the Buffalo Bills with the idea of showing him off for a late trade. Interdivision trades don’t often occur, but the team would be looking at a sixth or seventh-round pick, likely a conditional one, so it’s possible.
Quandre Diggs to the Buffalo Bills
The Bills have shown some excitement over second-year corner Kevon Seymour. Seymour had leapfrogged Leonard Johnson, who holds a manageable contract after being brought in this season from the Panthers. With the team moving Ronald Darby and the corner they traded for, E.J. Gaines, dealing with injury, the team could use some depth.
Diggs isn’t a lock to make the Lions roster despite a resurgence this preseason after a disaster of a 2016. He’s played well enough to make the squad, but this comes down to being a numbers game. If the team opts to keep only five corners, it’s likely that Diggs isn’t among them, since his chief competition in DJ Hayden has been lockdown so far. The Lions wouldn’t get much in return for Diggs, a former sixth-round pick, given his poor play in 2016, but they could recoup a sixth-round pick or even package something else to get an earlier pick.
Laken Tomlinson to the New England Patriots
The Lions and Patriots have a common trade history of late with Bob Quinn working his previous contacts there. The idea of a trade to the Pats isn’t a new one, we’ve even floated the idea here on Pride of Detroit before. The Patriots showed interest in Laken Tomlinson prior to the 2015 draft and while they are presumably set for starters with Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason it becomes a question of depth after that.
The Lions wouldn’t be able to get as much for Tomlinson as they may from a more desperate team, but they could use this opportunity to flip Tomlinson for someone like Geneo Grissom, another high pick in New England that has mostly fizzled out. It’d be a depth for depth move. Grissom is listed as a starter on their unofficial depth chart, but Grissom is being talked up like someone who will be showcased for trade more than someone who is really taking a huge step to becoming a starter.
Kasey Redfern to the Buffalo Bills
The Bills’ special teams units were not very good in 2016 and punting was a big part of that. The team ranked 30th in net punting average last season, and could use a bigger leg. The battle was mainly between Colton Schmidt and Austin Rehkow, the latter an undrafted free agent rookie who was originally supposed to be their possible kicker replacement. Rehkow was cut and Schmidt ‘won’ the battle, but has been one of the least effective punters this preseason. He has punted 19 times for only 39.1 yards net, one of the worst in the league.
Kasey Redfern, on the other hand, has punted the same number of times for 42.3 yards net, good for ninth in the NFL. Redfern wouldn’t command much in trade, but the Lions could nab a late round (likely conditional pick) for a player they weren’t planning on keeping anyway. It’s possible, though less likely, that they would use Redfern to flip for a DL, but I’m not sure who the Bills would be shopping or if they would help anymore than Lions current crop.
Alex Carter to the Seattle Seahawks
The former Lions third-round pick Alex Carter has had a rough go of things in Detroit, and not all were for reasons within his control. Injured early in his career, he was put well behind the curve and could never seem to recover. His eventual change from cornerback to safety was a long time due and seems to have been the revelation he needed to show he can play in the NFL. It may have been too little too late with Detroit, however, as their roster is already sitting at least three and possibly four deep at safety. There isn’t much room to keep someone like Carter despite his youth and upside, which leaves a trade on the table.
The Seattle Seahawks have some strict physical requirements for their secondary and Carter’s size and relative athleticism give him a leg up in that regard. The Lions won’t get back the third-round pick they spent on him, but they could get a late-round pick in the trade that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Like other trade scenarios we’ve looked at, there’s the possibility of trying to acquire a DL from the Seahawks deep stable, but I’m not sure I see one they’d flip for someone like Carter.
Which scenario should the Lions pursue?
This poll is closed
Jake Rudock to the Jets
Jared Abbrederis to the Bears
Quandre Diggs to the Bills
Laken Tomlinson to the Patriots
Kasey Redfern to the Bills
Alex Carter to the Seahawks