The Detroit Lions aren’t bothering to wait for next Tuesday’s trade deadline, as they have already made one of the bigger moves to date. As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions are trading for Cowboys defensive end Everson Griffen for a conditional 2021 sixth-round pick. To be clear, the sixth-round pick could become a fifth rounder if it meets various conditions, per ESPN’s Todd Archer.
The Lions’ pass rush has been better in recent weeks—especially with the play of Romeo Okwara—but Detroit still ranks in the bottom five in overall pass rush win rate. Griffen, on the other hand, was one of the Vikings’ best pass rushers for the past 10 years. In Dallas, however, he’s struggled this season, tallying just 3.0 sacks and a PFF pass rush grade of 61.8. Prior to that, though, Griffen amassed at least eight sacks in five of the last six seasons.
After initially opting out of the final three years of his deal with the Vikings in February of this year, Griffen spent a long time available in free agency before landing a one-year deal with the Cowboys. That new contract was worth just $3 million in base salary with an additional $3 million in per-game roster bonuses, so it won’t be much of a cap hit to Detroit.
Everson Griffen headed back to the NFC North after all. Detroit will owe him about $1.75M in base salary for the rest of 2020, and $187,500 in per game roster bonuses— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) October 27, 2020
Lions needed veteran pass rush help, win-win here for I'd bet next to nothing in draft capital https://t.co/ig8wiW53aE
Note: Because of COVID-19 protocols, Griffen must test negative for five consecutive days before joining the Lions, which means he’s unlikely to play this week against the Colts. That would make his first potential game with the Lions against... *checks the calendar* the Minnesota Vikings. Fun.