One preseason game down, two to go. But with the regular season fast approaching, is there a chance the Detroit Lions make a few moves before cutdown day?
Preseason trades are rarely blockbusters, but they can be impactful, for good and for bad. Last season, the Lions acquired Trinity Benson from the Denver Broncos, along with a 2023 sixth-rounder, for a Lions’ 2022 fifth and seventh. Benson was unlikely to provide immediate relief for a depleted receiving corps, but his 2021 campaign was still a disappointment. Getting traded was a challenge for Benson, and he is hoping to prove his worth this year—an added presence on special teams is another way Benson is looking to make a positive impact.
The Lions have made a preseason trade in eight of the last nine seasons, including the acquisition of David Blough (2019) and the departure of Laken Tomlinson (2017). Will we see another trade made this season? Detroit has a few options. They could trade from a position of strength, or they could trade for a position of weakness.
In terms of strengths, the first one to stand out is wide receiver—ironic considering how badly the position needed help last season. DJ Chark, Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds, and Amon-Ra St. Brown are locks, with Jameson Williams likely to start the season injured. If the Lions opt to keep six receivers, they will have a difficult decision to make. They would have to choose between two of Maurice Alexander, Trinity Benson, Quintez Cephus, and Tom Kennedy. The losers of that position battle may prove to be decent trade chips, especially to recoup the assets lost from the Benson trade.
Other positions with possible trade assets include offensive line (Kevin Jarvis, Tommy Kraemer, Logan Stenberg), defensive end (Austin Bryant, John Cominsky), running back (Godwin Igwebuike, Jermar Jefferson, Craig Reynolds), and kicker (Riley Patterson or Austin Seibert). The return for such players is really anyone’s guess, but if another team has a glaring weakness, they might be in the market.
Detroit itself should be in the market to fix their glaring weaknesses. Two positions of note are quarterback and defensive tackle. David Blough and Tim Boyle are the lone backup quarterbacks on the roster, but between Blough’s low ceiling and Boyle’s erratic ability, neither looks like a prime replacement. As for defensive tackle, the Lions were gouged on the ground in their first preseason game, and a lack of reliable defensive tackle depth was a key reason why. The Lions could use some size up front, and if Isaiah Buggs and Jashon Cornell aren’t up for the task, the Lions make look for outside reinforcements.
That being said, the recent track record of preseason trades has not been stellar for the Lions. Benson and Blough are on the chopping block this season. Eli Harold (2018), Brandon Thomas (2016), and Timothy Wright (2015) never amounted to much in Detroit, as did the draft capital they received for Tomlinson, Mike Jackson (2020), Johnson Bademosi (2017), and Michael Williams (2015). Making a preseason trade seems like an easy solution, but it seems to be more miss than hit.
Should the Lions make an attempt to bolster their roster and/or draft capital, or should they stand pat with the players they have?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Should the Lions make a preseason trade in 2022?
My answer: I think the Lions should make a trade, and I have a few in mind.
I think Tom Kennedy could be a popular trade chip. Due to his limited special teams ability, I cannot give him the edge over Trinity Benson yet. He might challenge Quintez Cephus as a receiver, but he will need more stellar performances to usurp his spot. If Kennedy does not make the 53-man roster, he could very well get poached off waivers by another team. As such, it could make sense to trade him for a modest return.
Teams that could use a receiver include the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, and Houston Texans. The Ravens are suffering an onslaught of injuries in their receiving corps, including their starting (and unproven) slot receiver James Proche. If Kennedy continues to play well, he might be of interest to Baltimore. Detroit could be equally interested in undrafted rookie quarterback Anthony Brown, who looked impressive in his preseason debut.
The Bears are in dire need of receiving depth, especially with recently-acquired N’Keal Harry suffering a serious ankle injury. If you can stomach the idea of trading with a division rival, the Bears are a strong suitor. A player like defensive tackle Micah Dew-Treadway could be an option for Detroit if they were looking for a player-for-player deal.
The Houston Texans may be without John Metchie for an extended period following his leukemia diagnosis, leaving the Texans very thin at slot receiver. Chris Moore is the likely replacement, but he hasn’t achieved much throughout his NFL career. It may be too rich, but if Detroit could get a defensive tackle like Ross Blacklock or Thomas Booker for Kennedy, that would be fantastic—maybe a draft pick could sweeten the deal as well.
Should the Lions make a trade, and if so, which players are your trade targets?
Should the Lions make a preseason trade in 2022?
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