How Detroit Lions’ trade for Everson Griffen went down: ‘Motown we coming, baby!’

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Some trades takes days or weeks of negotiations. Others take hours.

The Everson Griffen trade fell into the latter category, as the Detroit Lions found a motivated partner in the Dallas Cowboys and the two sides consummated a deal in the span of three or four hours Tuesday afternoon.

“It really helps (to know the player), especially when things go down maybe last-minute or pretty quick,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said Wednesday. “And sometimes that’s how those situations come up and they occur, but the more familiarity you have with the player, and certainly when you play against someone like that for as long as we have, you are very used to what he is and what he can do and his skill set and how that would fit with whatever you’re doing from that standpoint.”

Griffen, who played his first 10 NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, has played 19 games against the Lions in his career and had 16 sacks in those contests, his most against any opponent.

The Cowboys confirmed the trade, for a 2021 draft pick that could be as high as a fifth-rounder, on Tuesday, and Griffen started the onboarding process with the Lions on Wednesday.

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He must pass COVID-19 tests on five consecutive days before joining the Lions for team activities. That means he won’t play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, but should be in the team’s Allen Park practice facility Monday and available for next week’s game against the Vikings.

“It was just, obviously, a player that we liked that was available and everything just kind of worked out from that standpoint,” Patricia said.

Griffen became available after the Cowboys fell to 2-5 with a loss to Washington, and with the team looking to shed salary and rid themselves of veterans who do not fit into coach Mike McCarthy’s long-term plans before next week’s trade deadline.

The Lions, in the wildcard hunt after back-to-back victories over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, were seeking depth for their thin defensive line.

They’ll assume the remaining $1.59 million on Griffen’s contract and be responsible for per-game roster bonuses that could total another $1.8675 million.

Patricia declined to say what kind of role he expects Griffen to play. Griffen posted an Instagram story of him catching a private flight to Detroit to join his new team.

“Motown, we coming, baby!” Griffen said in the video. “This has been a blessing. I’m grateful, I’m thankful. Words can’t describe how blessed I feel right now. I’m ready to go to work, I’m ready to help this team win. One pride, Detroit Lions here I come. Everson Griffen cannot wait. Let’s get it.”

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Walkie talkie

The Lions held a walk-through inside their practice facility Wednesday, eschewing their normal outdoor padded practice in order to give their bodies more rest.

“We’re kind of at that eight-week mark of the season, about halfway through, and about this time trying to do a good job of taking care of everybody’s bodies today,” Patricia said. “We’ll get back at it on the practice field tomorrow, but a big mental day here for us here today. And certainly. Indianapolis coming off their bye week, they’re going to be fresh and ready to go and we’re going to have to try to match that speed and that intensity on the field.”

Desmond Trufant, who has missed two straight games with a hamstring injury, stretched with the team before Wednesday’s walk-through but was listed as a non-participant on the estimated practice report. Jalen Reeves-Maybin also missed practice for non-injury and non-COVID-19-related reasons.

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Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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