The NFL trade deadline is still a couple days away after it was rescheduled due to the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, but the Lions completed a trade this afternoon nonetheless.
Heading to Detroit is wide receiver Mike Thomas, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Lions will reportedly send a “mid-round” draft pick to the Jaguars in the deal. Cornerback Justin Miller was released to make room for Thomas on the Lions roster.
The Lions are already without a 2013 fourth round pick after dealing it to draft linebacker Tahir Whitehead last April. It would seem that the pick heading to Jacksonville would be a fifth-round pick as anything later than that can’t really be considered mid-round and anything higher than that would suggest Matt Millen is still in charge. It is also possible that the Lions and Jaguars agreed to a future draft pick.
How Thomas fits with the Lions isn’t yet clear. He will bolster the wide receiver depth chart but will compete for playing time with Ryan Broyles who seemed primed to step up in Nate Burleson‘s absence. Thomas also provides competition for Stefan Logan as the team’s return man but the two players’ statistics look quite similar.
A mid-round pick might seem like a high price to pay for another wide receiver without a clear role but is it possible that the Lions are discounting mid- and low-round draft picks after retaining their entire eight-man 2012 draft class? Just another variable to consider in what is already a puzzling picture.