As soon as news broke that the Detroit Lions would be without Nate Burleson for a significant amount of time, many started to speculate on wide receivers the Lions might be able to acquire in a trade.
A trade hasn’t happened yet, suggesting one might not be coming at all. That isn’t to say the Lions didn’t make some phone calls, I’m sure they did. The problem is that most of the impact trade targets carry a significant amount of risk.
There were the fake internet rumors that the Lions had a deal in place with the Giants for Hakeem Nicks. It sounded like a deal that makes sense in theory but would the Lions be interested in trading for Nicks knowing he will be looking for a big contract in the offseason?
Cleveland’s Josh Gordon was another popular name but he is just one strike away from a season-long suspension. Hardly worth the a Lions team that is trying to shed a bad reputation while trying to chase down another playoff berth.
Then there is Kenny Britt. He is struggling with the Tennessee Titans this season but the 2009 first-round pick has been productive in the past. Britt looks like a player in need of a change of scenery but the Titans are reportedly not finding a team willing to meet their asking price. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that the Titans are looking for a third-round pick or a combination of picks equal to a third rounder. However, other teams see Britt’s trade value at a fifth-round pick level due to previous off-field issues, expiring contract and lack of production this season.
When it comes to Britt, the really interesting nugget came yesterday. In a tweet, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said he thinks the Lions would have already dealt for Britt if he didn’t come with concerns off the field.
Any trade has to be considered in the context of the balance of what you’re getting and what you’re giving up.