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Should the Detroit Lions trade for Patrick Peterson?

Weighing the pros and cons of an aggressive move before the trade deadline.

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday afternoon that Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson has requested a trade. It is reported that the All-Pro corner is “desperate” to get away from the Cardinals.

The Cardinals are coming off of a 45-10 bludgeoning at the hands of the Denver Broncos last Thursday. Arizona dropped to 1-6 on the season and they are possibly the worst team in the NFL.

Peterson has been having a respectable season despite the team’s struggles. The play-making corner has intercepted two passes this year and while he struggled against Denver he hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as everyone else in Arizona. Pro Football Focus currently has him as the No. 4 cornerback in the league.

While Bryant McFadden of CBS News reports that Peterson’s preferred destination is in New Orleans with the Saints, the team that snags the corner will be whoever gives the Cardinals the best offer.

Peterson will probably be expensive, but is he worth the price? Should the Lions make a trade for the corner?

Why the Lions should trade for Patrick Peterson

Cornerback is a problem for the Lions at the moment. While we can write off a few bad performances from Darius Slay as outliers, it is hard to say that about the corners across from him. Teez Tabor has shown improvements, but he is still far from being a valuable depth piece. Nevin Lawson has been terribly inconsistent as an outside corner and a move inside to the slot should help him out.

Adding Peterson should quell all concerns at corner for the Lions. Detroit would have two All-Pro corners on either side of the field and would instantly have the ability to smother opposing offenses. Lawson would also have the freedom to move inside, letting Quandre Diggs have more freedom to be the versatile defensive back he truly is. Adding Peterson would improve at least two position for Detroit and fill one of the team’s voids.

The Lions have enough free cap to afford Peterson. The corner accounts for around $12 million of the cap next season—a number they can definitely afford next season with Ezekiel Ansah ($17.1 million) and DeAndre Levy ($4.8 million) both coming off of the books for the team. Detroit can add the corner and still have enough flexibility to potentially re-sign receiver Golden Tate, among others.

If Detroit’s goals were as lofty as fans were led to believe earlier this season, then sending a second-round pick over to Arizona for a player that lets the team compete today should be a no-brainer. If the Lions believe they have a chance to win the NFC North and make noise in the playoffs, then why not roll the dice on a player who’s been to seven straight Pro Bowls?

Why the Lions should not trade for Patrick Peterson

It might be a hard pill to swallow—especially with the “Any Given Sunday” mantra NFL teams live by—but this probably is not the year Detroit finally has a break through. Adding Peterson doesn’t make this team better than the NFC juggernaut Los Angeles Rams. It doesn’t even make them better than the Minnesota Vikings.

While the defensive backfield will get a boost, the Lions will still be a deeply flawed team. Sending a second round pick—Detroit doesn’t have their third and getting Peterson for a fourth would be a steal—could set the team back in the future.

The Lions still should have around a decade left of Matthew Stafford. Kerryon Johnson and Frank Ragnow look like stars who can contribute for years. A lot of the Lions at the core of this team have stepped up this season, and they should only grow even more under Matt Patricia. Trading away another Day 2 pick means the Lions have less of a chance of landing another star that could contribute to this team down the line.

If Detroit still won’t have a realistic chance at winning the Super Bowl and may not become front runners in the division then why mortgage your future?

It’s worth mentioning that Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said on Monday they will not be trading Peterson. Of course, everyone has their price. Now it’s time for you to weigh in: Should the Lions make a move on Peterson?


Should the Lions trade for Patrick Peterson?

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