While the Detroit Lions—and just about every team—came up empty at the trade deadline this year, it wasn’t for lack of trying in Detroit. We already know that the Lions considered trading for Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that wasn’t the only target for Detroit.
Per Rapoport, the Lions also tried to take a swing at Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, but Atlanta ultimately decided to keep the 27-year-old back.
An intriguing would-be trade that was heavily discussed over the past week, but didn’t end up happening: #Falcons RB Devonta Freeman to the #Lions. DET inquired, the sides talked about a possible deal at length, but ultimately, Atlanta just decided they didn’t want to trade him.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 30, 2019
Considering the Lions reportedly talked “at length” about a deal, it shows just how serious they were about adding some running back help. Freeman certainly would have been a welcome addition, as the veteran back has averaged 4.3 yards per carry throughout his career and has caught at least 30 passes in every (full) season of his career.
That being said, Freeman has been off to a rough start in 2019. He’s averaging a career-low 3.4 yards per carry and already has three fumbles on the season.
Still, with the Lions struggling to find help in the backfield in the wake of Kerryon Johnson’s knee injury, Freeman would have certainly been an upgrade over the likes of rookie Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic and Tra Carson.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell even admitted his current set of backs need some time to get adjusted.
“Those guys are a work in progress,” Bevell said this week. “We had a couple nice runs early. We were still moving it around trying to find who was going to be successful, but also give guys opportunities to make plays.”
On Wednesday, the Lions released Paul Perkins to make room for the signing of cornerback Michael Jackson. Whether the Lions will make another addition to their backfield soon remains to be seen.