At 1-3, the Detroit Lions are in need of some desperate help, both in the short term and the long. While they’re getting good production on some of their young players, there are plenty of holes to fill on a roster in flux—especially with a new, struggling defensive unit.
Trades in the NFL aren’t all that common, and Lions general manager Bob Quinn hasn’t been involved in really any blockbuster trades since taking the job, but it’s always fun to dream.
Thankfully, Pro Football Focus put together trades they’d like to see for all 32 franchises. Lucky for us, four total trades involve a Detroit Lions player. Let’s take a look at each one individually.
Lions trade Golden Tate to Jaguars for fourth-round pick
Earlier this week, our own Kyle Yost played with the unpopular idea of trading Tate. He lays out a pretty solid argument here, but concludes that the compensation should be closer to a second or third-round pick.
“A first-rounder is very unlikely, but a second-round pick seems right within his range, and would be a clear improvement over a compensatory selection the Lions would get for not trading him,” Yost wrote.
This doesn’t seem like great value for the Lions, who have made Tate the centerpiece of their offense for the past few years, but maybe this is closer to what he would actually get on the market?
Lions trade Ameer Abdullah to Eagles for seventh-round pick
Ameer Abdullah has spent the first four weeks of the season on the Lions’ inactive list, well behind Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick—all of which have played significant roles in Detroit’s offense thus far.
It does feel like Abdullah is wasted potential on the sidelines every week, but he also provides solid injury insurance should the Lions backfield get dinged up.
Again, the question here is compensation. It’s hard to think a player like Abdullah would garner anything more than a seventh-round pick given his status this year, but would that be worth it for Detroit? Is a seventh-round pick worth losing that insurance? On the other hand, it’s quite possible that the Lions end up losing Abdullah next season without getting anything—even a compensatory pick—in return.
Lions trade Teez Tabor for Saints EDGE Trey Hendrickson
In three of the Lions’ four games thus far, Teez Tabor has played four or fewer snaps. He couldn’t win the starting No. 2 cornerback job during camp, and he doesn’t seem to be progressing much.
So with the Lions roster a little bloated in the secondary, PFF suggested adding some help where the Lions could really use it.
Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson was drafted a round after Tabor in the 2017 draft, and has similarly struggled to make an impact with New Orleans. But PFF thinks the two could use a change of scenery and both teams would benefit by adding to their biggest needs:
“It’s no secret the Lions have had virtually no edge presence on passing downs this year, as no edge player with at least 20 snaps has an above average pass-rush grade this year,” PFF wrote.
But Hendrickson wouldn’t exactly come in and immediately be the Lions’ best edge rusher. The 23-year-old was a healthy scratch last week, and has only played in one game in 2018. His rookie year, he made 12 game appearances (no starts) and tallied 13 tackles and 2.0 sacks. Last year, his PFF grade was a modest 71.6.
Lions trade Ezekiel Ansah to Rams for a third-round pick
Lions fans have been eager to get rid of Ansah ever since he’s been to be cursed by the injury bug, but something tells me sending him to the Rams would trigger some nausea. Think about it: Ansah, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald all on one defensive front, all of whom could have been together in Detroit had the 2014 draft gone a little differently.
Still, a third-round pick may actually be pretty good deal for the Lions, considering his contract price and the unlikeliness that Ansah will be around in 2019. I’m not exactly sure how the Rams—who penny-pinched to eventually give Donald his contract extension—would fit Ansah’s contract into their salary cap (currently listed with $1.6 million in room), but if the Lions could get that kind of return, it may be worth it.
What is your favorite of the four trades?
What PFF-proposed trade is your favorite?
This poll is closed
Golden Tate for a 4th round pick
Ameer Abdullah for a 7th rounder
Teez Tabor for DE Trey Hendrickson
Ezekiel Ansah for a 3rd
I don’t like any of them