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Why Detroit Lions fans shouldn’t panic after a modest trade deadline

The Detroit Lions didn’t make a big swing at the trade deadline, while other NFC contenders did. We explain why that’s okay.

Las Vegas Raiders v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NFL trade deadline has come and past, and the Detroit Lions made just a mere whimper on Tuesday. The addition of depth receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones at the expense of a 2025 sixth-round pick didn’t move the needle all that much, and it left some Lions fans understandably disappointed.

I say “understandably,” because many Lions fans had spent the previous few weeks fantasizing about adding a high-impact defender like Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Leonard Williams, Kevin Byard, only to see all of those players land with an NFC contender (with exception of Sweat to the Bears).

So why didn’t the Lions make a splash? Were fans’ expectations too high? What do we make of the Peoples-Jones’ addition? We tackle it all this week on the PODcast. Ryan Mathews, Morgan Cannon, and I each gave our opinions on the trade deadline, a weirdly-active NFC North, and conducted a dive deep into the Lions’ “Monday Night Football” win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Here’s a few snippets of our conversation.

On adding Peoples-Jones

Cannon: “It’s not the move everybody wanted when everyone was excited about the trade deadline. But at the end of the day, this was a position that the Lions were thin in, if god forbid somebody went down. I was hoping they could’ve added another outside corner. That would’ve been nice to make me sleep a little better at night, but this helps just because, god forbid, Josh Reynolds misses time or something along those lines. DPJ can play a bunch of different roles, he has special teams experience.”

On fans freaking out about a lack of a big move:

Reisman: “Let me start with Dan Campbell, because I think his (quote) is more telling. He said:

“Brad and I said from day one, man we have a plan in place that we don’t want to alter, we don’t want to mess with that and we’re in year three of this right now, our beginning of year three, and everything had to be right.”

“This is what they’ve said every part of the process. ‘We have a plan in place. We don’t want to stray from that plan.’ And he’s telling you: they’re not in that phase where they think they need to go all in. And I said it a week before the trade deadline, this team, their window is just now opening and they don’t want to dig into their future picks. I know a Round 3 (pick) doesn’t sound all that expensive, but if you’ve trusted Brad Holmes this entire way, and you’ve seen the way he’s drafted on Day 2, how can you not continue to trust this guy’s plan? At this time last year, they were 1-6, and now they’re a top NFC contender. Everything they’ve done every single step of the way has been the right way to do it. They want sustained success.

“I know Lions fans, listen, we’ve waited 70 years for a winner, and now that we have a little taste of it, we just want to grab that, we want to take the bull by the horns. ‘This is ours. This is our year. Look at the NFC North, it’s bad! Look at the rest of the NFC: Bad! The opportunity is there!’ This organization doesn’t want to look at that say, ‘This is our window, we’ve got to grab it.’ No. ‘Our window is always open. We don’t care if the NFC North gets better, because we’re still going to be better.’”

Check out our full discussion below. The first segment is all about the trade deadline. The second talks Lions vs. Raiders, and the final segment talks about the Lions’ second half of the season and what could hold them back.

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