NFL

NFL trade deadline: 5 Detroit Lions players most likely to be traded

NFL trade deadline: 5 Detroit Lions players most likely to be traded

The Detroit Lions they are 1-6, and that completely disqualifies them from being buyers at the NFL trade deadline, which is Tuesday, November 1st at 4:00 PM ET. If team owner Sheila Ford was being honest when she said it was a complete teardown and rebuild, then at 1-6, they’re clearly still in the early stages of both. There is more demolition and rebuilding to be done.

In the NFL, the best way to do that is through the draft. And while the Lions still have an extra first-round pick left over from the Matthew Stafford trade, they could always pile on more.

There hasn’t been much talk of the Lions being involved in any trades so far this year, and if we’re being completely honest, it doesn’t look like they have a ton of players worth dealing. That said, here’s a list of the five most likely players to be traded, along with what we think Detroit could get for them and how likely the Lions are to make a move.

TJ Hockenson

The Detroit Free Press reported that the Lions had not made an offer for Hockenson as of last weekend, and the tight end told the paper this week that he has laughed off any suggestion that he would be traded. That said, the rumors can escalate quickly and Hockenson could be one of Detroit’s most valuable pieces.

Hockenson, a former first-round pick, hasn’t been the centerpiece of the team’s offense in 2022. His 3.7 receptions per game are his lowest since his rookie season, and while his yards per game are currently at a career high, that’s being skewed by an 81-yard reception. Take that away, and his 44.9 yards per game would also be his lowest since his rookie season.

With just one more year left on his deal beyond this season, this could be Detroit’s chance to sell before his value drops.

Estimated value: A mid-round pick or two. Like Mike Payton noted in his opinion piece on this issuethe story places Hockenson’s value around a second-round pick based on the 2020 Hayden Hurst trade.

Financial impact: Hockenson has $3.8 million left on his 2022 contract, and if traded, the Lions would absorb roughly $1.8 million in cap space and free up roughly $2 million in cap space. His 2023 base salary ($9.4 million) is fully guaranteed, but base salaries travel with the player to the acquiring team.

Likelihood of happening: Low to medium likelihood. Of all the options, this may be the most likely. The Athletic’s Jeff Howe even proposed a change that would mark the Tampa Bay Lions first and fourth round picks for Hockenson. If the Bucs offered him, I think the Lions would be wise to take him, but as I noted above, I don’t think his value is that high. Detroit doesn’t have someone on its roster capable of filling Hockenson’s spot, though it would give rookie James Mitchell a chance to get valuable playing time to develop.

Taylor Decker

Whenever there is trade talk among fans, Decker’s name seems to come up…to his own dismay. And while it seems unlikely that the Lions would part ways with a key member of their offensive line, the truth is that there are plenty of teams in need of offensive tackles, and Decker will be 30 next season.

Decker is a good player at a high-value position who could be entering the twilight of his career soon. These are exactly the kind of players you’d consider moving if you’re a young, rebuilding team, if the deal makes sense.

Estimated Value: Possible first-round pick. Left tackles are not traded very often, as they are highly coveted and hard to find. That said, in 2021 the Ravens traded Orlando Brown to the Chiefs for a first, third, fourth and future fifth round pick. Brown was only 25 years old and had a couple of Pro Bowls, so his value was probably higher than Decker’s, but I still think a first-round pick is realistic.

Financial impact: The good news is that the Lions would free up nearly $5.3 million in cap space in 2022 if they traded Decker.

The bad news is that with roughly $17.9 million remaining in guaranteed money, that means they’d absorb $3.2 million in cap space in 2022 and $14.7 million in 2023. Ouch.

Likelihood of it happening: Slim to none. It doesn’t just do it Decker’s recent restructuring they give him a financial headache to change, but the team values ​​him both as a player and a leader. That’s something, however, the Lions may consider more strongly next year, when it’s much more financially viable and the team may be looking for cap space to extend Jonah Jackson and Penei Sewell.

Amani Oruwariye

Oruwariye is in the final year of his contract, meaning if there’s a team willing to give up draft capital for the former fifth-round pick, this would probably be the time for Detroit to take him. stick If Detroit doesn’t plan on giving him an extension, this will likely be their only chance at compensation for him, as it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll win Detroit a compensatory pick.

With the Lions getting healthier at corner (Jerry Jacobs and Will Harris are off the injury report), Detroit could move on from Oruwariye, who was benched for a bad game earlier this season, but he has since rejoined the headlines.

Estimated value: Final pick, maybe conditional. Oruwariye has plenty of experience, but his recent play is impossible to ignore. He’s also in the final year of his deal, meaning anyone who traded for him would only get three months’ rent.

Financial impact: Of the $1.5 million remaining in the final year of Oruwariye’s contract, just under $50,000 is guaranteed, meaning the Lions would free up about $1.45 million in cap space.

Likelihood of happening: Low. While his recent benching suggests the Lions may be willing to move on from Oruwariye, it’s hard to imagine he has much of a market. He has plenty of experience, but he’s currently PFF’s lowest-rated cornerback, and that bench won’t look great on his resume. Detroit seems more likely to see if he can bounce back the rest of the season and perhaps make a case for re-signing this offseason.

Michael Brockers

Brockers has been benched, meaning he’s just taking up roster space for the Lions. While Brockers is past his prime at age 31, a veteran like him can be a pluggable piece for a team lacking depth and in need of a guy with scheme versatility.

That said, Detroit values ​​his leadership qualities, and his ability to guide young players is certainly something that could help the Lions weather the storm this season.

“When we talked and communicated (the bench) with him, he said, ‘Look, I’m ready,'” Campbell said this week: “He’s practicing, he’s like, ‘You need me, you need me.’ In the meantime, I will continue to help these young men improve. He’s a pro, man.”

Estimated Value: Late Pick. Inside linebackers his age usually get nothing more than a conditional sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Financial impact: The restructuring of the Brockers contract reduced his base salary to just $3 million this season, of which about $1.75 remains. This means that for the acquiring team, they could acquire Brockers and only owe him that amount.

Meanwhile, the Lions would absorb $2.3 million in cap hit while freeing up $1.75 for this season, but would also have nearly $4 million in cap hit in 2023.

Likelihood of happening: Low. This is very similar to the Jamie Collins situation last year. Even if Brockers has a market, other teams may believe it’s only a matter of time before Brockers is released. The Lions say Brockers has accepted a role as a mentor to Detroit’s defense, something the team really needs, but we’ve yet to hear that (or anything) from Brockers himself.

That said, Brockers won’t place a huge financial burden on the trading team. Yes, he has a $10 million base salary in 2023, but it would come with zero guarantees, meaning the acquiring team could release him after this season at no cost.

By Andre Swift

For whatever reason, running backs seem to be the target of many buyers at the trade deadline. Christian McCaffrey has already been dealt, while rumors of Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt are floating around.

Swift doesn’t have the on-field success of either of those players, but the potential he brings is clear. For Detroit, they may be nearing the end of their patience with their injury woes, but for the trade team, he could represent a short-term option (he’s currently off the injury report, but was clearly limited Sunday) that brings an extra dimension to his offense during a championship run.

Estimated value: Mid-round pick. McCaffrey landed a second, third, fourth and future pick for the Panthers, and while Swift is a couple of years younger than McCaffrey, he also has some of his resume. Swift dreams of a 1,000-1,000 season, but McCaffrey has done it. Swift has shown he can be a major weapon, but a lack of availability during his career limits his value.

Financial impact: By trading Swift, the Lions would absorb a $555,000 cap hit while freeing up $816,000 in cap space in 2022. But the Lions would still be on the hook for the remaining signing bonus, which would mean a $942,000 cap hit in 2023 .

Likelihood of happening: low to medium. It looks like there may be a market for a big-play running back, so Detroit could get some calls. But given his injury history, he likely won’t get anywhere near the ballpark the Panthers got for McCaffrey, which removes most of the motivation for Detroit to deal Swift. It’s not a financial burden ($2.3 million cap hit this year, $2.7 million next year), so unless they get a higher offer than expected, the Lions are likely to see out the remainder of his contract.



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