Reports that the Detroit Lions weren’t done in free agency on Tuesday were, of course, very true. Late at night, news broke that the Lions were signing former Packers RB Jamaal Williams, but then NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero also broke the news that the team was finalizing a deal that would bring Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers to Detroit. Details on what Detroit was giving up in the trade were not immediately available.
UPDATE: The Lions are sending a 2023 seventh-round pick to the Rams for Brockers.
Ian Rapoport shed further details on the reasons for the trade: the Rams sought to restructure Brockers’ contract, which is worth a base salary of $6.5 million in 2021. The two parties could not come to terms, which led to his trade to the Lions. Brockers was the first player drafted by current Rams GM Les Snead. Obviously, current Lions GM Brad Holmes knows Brockers well, as he served as the Rams director of college scouting the year they selected the defensive tackle.
Brockers has played both on interior defensive line and on the edge, with the Rams using him more for the latter in the past few seasons. Last season he recorded five sacks in 15 games; his PFF grade came out at 63.9 overall.
The Rams organization has praised Brockers’ leadership in the past. “The energy, the charisma, the presence and the leadership he provides, he has been so instrumental,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay back in January.
The move does also add depth to the defensive line following the release of defensive tackle Danny Shelton earlier on Tuesday.
In a somewhat awkward development, Brockers called former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford a “level up” over Jared Goff, who was traded to the Lions in February (to be fair, he also praised the toughness of Goff in another interview).