On CBS Sports’ team-by-team buy or sell trade list heading toward the deadline, two Detroit Lions made the cut.
The Detroit Lions, if they do anything, will be selling as next Tuesday’s trade deadline creeps closer. The list of players they would comfortably trade is naturally pretty short, so standing pat is certainly in play.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports has gone team-by team ahead of the trade deadline with a player for each team to either buy or sell depending on their situation.
The player Benjamin says the Lions should sell is sure to draw some ire from fans.
Sell: RB Jamaal Williams
The former Packers veteran brings some spice to the backfield and has been getting more work with D’Andre Swift injured, but he’s on the final year of his contract for a team at least another year away from competing. There’s little reason not to shop him; he’d make a fine secondary piece for a contender.
And the Lion who’s a buy candidate for another team?….
Buy: Lions S DeShon Elliott
Safety Brandon Jones is headed to injured reserve, and corner Byron Jones remains sidelined, so the time is now for Miami to bolster depth on the back end, especially if the Dolphins intend to stay in the AFC East race. Elliott has been solid in his time with Detroit after four years in Baltimore, and the Lions should be motivated to sell.
Detroit Lions: Trading veterans on expiring deals makes sense
Williams is unlikely to be back in Detroit next season. That sounds blunt, but it’s true. Contending teams looking for a solid backfield piece could have interest, and Lions general manager Brad Holmes would have to listen.
Elliott was initially benched in Week 5, but he wound up playing a lot after Saivion Smith left that game very early. The former Raven has been productive on the whole this season, with 49 tackles, one interception and a fumble recovery in six games.
The interesting angle with Elliott presented by Benjamin’s scenario is obvious. The Lions play the Dolphins on Sunday, so they can get an up-close look at him as they likely mine the market for secondary help up to the trade deadline.
Trading expiring contracts for draft pick assets might be the only way the Lions do anything at the trade deadline. So the idea of parting with Williams, Elliott or both makes plenty of sense, and they may be getting some interest.