The Detroit Lions have me thinking about the MCU right now (Marvel Cinematic Universe, for the uninitiated). You know, the one with the superheroes who are trying to save the world from the powerful Thanos. In the past, I’ve called Matt Patricia Thanos simply because it felt like he came here and snapped his fingers and half the Lions we loved were gone and Detroit was left in shambles. I still believe that’s true, but for the sake of this story, let’s talk about another Thanos—a variant of the multiverse, if you will.
In this universe, Thanos isn’t really a person. He’s more of a celestial thing that hovers over the Detroit Lions franchise like a dark cloud. For years Thanos has been inevitable for the Lions. He’s caused this team to lose in new and embarrassing ways, and he’s the reason this team has missed out on the playoffs and any glory that comes along with it.
In the last two years, the Lions have formed something of an Avengers team that’s been able to get in shots on Thanos like they never have before. They’re so close to riding themselves off that dark cloud. They’re at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War” and all they have to do to get this guy to go away is go for the head.
The Lions are in a spot right now where their defense is coming along but still needs some important pieces to take it to the next level and beyond. They’ve already attacked the defensive line through the first two years, and they have young, promising players at linebacker. That’s two spots where they’re strong. As for the secondary, there’s one go-for-the-head type of move they can make to have them in the position where they’re holding the gauntlet and snapping their fingers. That’s making another trade with the Rams, this time for All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
I know there’s a bit of hesitancy from Lions fans about this move. I’ve been seeing the reactions to the idea on Twitter this week. The fear is that the Lions would likely have to part with a high draft pick to get it done. If that’s the case, I say make it happen.
The Lions have some things that the Rams don’t. They have a first-round draft pick. That’s something the Rams haven’t had since they selected current Lions starting quarterback Jared Goff in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Rams have sacrificed all those picks in order to build a championship team. They did that. Now they’re a team that’s more than likely headed towards a rebuild for multiple reasons that we don’t have to get into today. Matthew Stafford’s health is probably one of them though.
The Lions hold the sixth overall pick, a pick that used to belong to the Rams. The Lions should keep that pick and offer the 18th pick to the Rams for Jalen Ramsey straight up.
Everyone gets what they want out of this deal. The Rams finally get a high-value draft pick to start rebuilding a young core of their team. They also get to free up some cap space. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they’d still have to eat $19.6 million of his $25.2 million cap hit this year, but because they’re $14 million over the cap right now, every little bit helps.
Back on January 13, Ramsey posted a cryptic tweet that suggested his time in Los Angeles is done. So it’s possible the Rams were getting ready to move on from him anyways.
It is what it is! It was what it was! If that’s the end, I went out wit a BANG! Still THAT! pic.twitter.com/dEM63EFa4u— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) January 13, 2023
NFL insiders also believe he may be on the move. In a story by ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler, at least one NFL employee thinks the Rams would entertain a trade for Ramsey.
“[Ramsey] is one I think the Rams will at least explore [moving],” one AFC personnel director said. “He’s still a top guy, but the play has fallen off a little bit and [he] could use a change of scenery.”
The Lions get to shore up their cornerback situation damn near immediately. Sure there will still be work to do, but the Lions inherit the corner that finished with the third-highest PFF grade for corners in the NFL this season. They can pair him up with Jeff Okudah and company and still use one of their top 100 picks on another corner. Perhaps Stanford’s Kyu Blu Kelly would fit the bill. Lions defensive assistant Shaun Dion Hamilton will be working with Kelly and more corners at the Senior Bowl in a couple weeks, giving the Lions an advantage when scouting this year’s class.
As for Ramsey, he gets to go from a team that had a great culture to a team that arguably has the best culture in the league. He’ll reunite with Brad Holmes and Ray Agnew. The latter, of course, played a big role in bringing Ramsey to LA when he was the Rams director of pro personnel. On the coaching side, if Aaron Glenn remains with the Lions, Ramsey gets to work with a defensive coordinator that specializes in the defensive backs, being a former defensive back himself as well as a former defensive backs coach. He also reunites with Todd Wash, who may be coaching the defensive line now, but was the Jaguars defensive coordinator during Ramsey’s 3.5 seasons in Jacksonville.
The Lions are Thor right now. They have Thanos right where they want him. Trading for Ramsey means going for the head and ending him right now. Go this route, get Thanos off your back, and get yourself into the playoffs with possibly an NFC North title.