If you missed it, right around midnight on the east coast Tuesday night, the Detroit Lions closed in on a trade that would send Los Angeles Rams veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers to Detroit.
On Wednesday morning, the terms of the trade were released, and they’re quite favorable for the Lions. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions are only sending a 2023 seventh-round pick to the Rams. Yes, you read that correctly. A seventh-round pick, not this year (they don’t have one), not next year, but in 2023.
Why did it cost so little for the Lions? Well, for one, they did the Rams a bit of a favor by taking on Brockers’ contract. He was due to cost the Rams $9.8 million in cap space, so Los Angeles approached him about a restructure. After failing to come to an agreement, the Rams opted to put him on the market, as a trade frees up over $6 million in cap space for them. The Lions will take on his $6.5 million salary (and, potentially, his $1.5 million 2021 roster bonus due on March 19).
So it’s a mutually beneficial trade for both teams. The Rams clear up cap space to get under the cap. The Lions get a veteran defensive tackle and a leader that will be very familiar with the kind of scheme Detroit will try to run in 2021. And as our own Erik Schlitt pointed out, this is a weak free agency and draft class to find guys like Brockers, so Detroit did well to find an out-of-the-box way to acquire one.