Coming off a promising 9-8 season, here are three galaxy brain trades the Detroit Lions can make to improve their roster.
The Detroit Lions have a promising young core with elite talent at key positions (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Penei Sewell, Aidan Hutchinson).
Despite entering the season with low expectations, the Lions finished with an impressive 9-8 record. They finished second in the NFC North for the first time since 2017.
The Lions will enter this offseason with over $23 million in cap space and multiple draft picks in the first and second rounds. Here are three galaxy brain trades they can make to improve their roster.
Lions galaxy brain trade No. 1: Go all-in for Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson
2023 4th round pick (125th overall)
2023 1st round pick (6th overall)
2023 1st round pick (18th overall)
2025 1st round pick
QB Jared Goff
If Jackson cannot reach a contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens, he should become the Lions’ top target. Jackson is a once-in-a-generation talent. In 2019, he led the league in both passing touchdowns (36) and QBR (83.0), while also breaking the quarterback single-season rushing yard record (1,206). During Jackson’s tenure, he has guided the Ravens to a 45-16 overall record.
At age 26, he is still in the middle of his prime. Furthermore, the Lions can surround him with plenty of weapons in Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, Jameson Williams, Jamaal Williams, and D’Andre Swift.
The Lions can offer the Ravens a strong trade package headlined by the sixth overall pick. The Houston Texans received three first-round picks for Deshaun Watson. In this scenario, the Lions match that offer and also include Jared Goff.
Including Goff in the deal would save the Lions $20.975 million in cap space, which would give the Lions $44.1 million in cap space. If Jackson receives the exclusive franchise tag, his cap hit is projected to be roughly $45.46 million. The Lions could then open up an additional $7.85 million by restructuring Frank Ragnow’s contract.
Meanwhile, Goff could appeal to the Ravens as a potential bridge quarterback. Last season, he was impressive, throwing for 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.