Detroit Lions: What a Chase Daniel trade would mean for the QB position

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions have touted this offseason as a time for retooling their roster. And early on, that tinkering process had had a rare focus on the quarterback position in Motown.

For the first time since 2009, the Lions will start the season with a passer under center not named Matthew Stafford. That after Detroit agreed to trade Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for two future first-round draft picks, a third-rounder, and quarterback Jared Goff.

Yet, there seemed to be some stability at the position because of the presence of veteran backup quarterback Chase Daniel. Following a 2019 regular season that saw Stafford miss eight games due to injury, the Lions ponied up $13.05 million on a three-year deal to bring Daniel to the Pride last March.

Last season, the now 34-year old Daniel played a total of 65 offensive snaps over a four-game span. He threw for 264 yards, a single touchdown, and two interceptions. Despite the low usage,  having an experienced hand at the position was an important get for Detroit last season.

And with Goff expected to take over the starting role in Motown, having Daniel to bridge the gap between the two franchise quarterbacks appeared to be an important aspect of the transition. But it’s apparently a luxury the new regime in Detroit is willing to part ways with … for the right price.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, sources tell him the Lions have had trade discussions with other NFL teams about Daniel. Set to count $5.3 million against the dwindling salary cap this season, the Detroit brass may figure those monies could be better utilized elsewhere. And potentially getting draft compensation to boot would only help accelerated the retooling.

But if the Lions do decide to trade Daniel, what statement does that make about the quarterback position in Detroit? Clearly, Goff is the incumbent starter once the pending trade is finalized. And the Lions still have third-year quarterback David Blough on the roster, who started five games in Stafford’s absence as an undrafted rookie back in 2019.

But some may interpret moving Daniel as a sign the Lions intend to use their first-round selection to find their future franchise quarterback. And while that’s certainly an option that’s still on the table for Detroit, the fact the NFL salary cap is expected to drop to somewhere around $180 million due to the negative impact of the current pandemic, it would be hard not to see this potential trade as anything but a cost-saving effort.

Moving on from Chase Daniel could also be a consideration because of the new coaching staff in Detroit. Perhaps new head coach Dan Cambell, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, and quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell have other plans for the position in Detroit.

Certainly, this new coaching staff could be looking to free agency to bring in their “own guy” to backup Jared Goff. Veteran free-agent passers like Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winston, and Blake Bortles could make sense as they all have ties to the Detroit Lions’ new regime.

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