The Detroit Lions were busy ahead of the trade deadline trading for Damon Harrison and trading away Golden Tate, but did they whiff on another trade?
After the Detroit Lions traded for a new star along the defensive line in Damon Harrison, they looked to be loading up for a playoff run. One loss later, the team traded away a fan favorite in star receiver Golden Tate. The move left the media and fans collectively scratching their heads.
Sure, there’s a business angle to unloading a 30-year-old wide receiver during a contract year. The Lions must have felt they weren’t going to re-sign him with a high price tag for the future. But with a divisional opponent coming up on Sunday and only one win separating the entire division, it’s still a very curious move.
Next, the Lions restructured wide receiver Marvin Jones‘ contract to free up an estimated $5 million in cap space. This happened ahead of the trade deadline last week. Another move must be coming up, right? The team certainly wouldn’t make these moves without something bigger in mind.
Every Lions fan held their breath waiting for the last minute move. Alas, the clock ran out and the trade deadline passed without another move. Where does that leave the Detroit Lions? Without their leading receiver on an offense that was starting to sputter even with him in the lineup.
It appears the Lions whiffed on an obvious trade opportunity. The team has been in need of another cornerback to start opposite of playmaker Darius Slay. And a big name that was being watched during the trade-happy period last week was Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
The Lions have Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor trying to fill the second cornerback spot, and they are getting picked on and exposed rather frequently. You believe in Teez? Child, please… He’s currently ranked #111 of all cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus, receiving a “Below Average” rating.
If the Lions were truly gearing up for a playoff push, they could have tried harder to land Peterson. He would have immediately shored up the cornerback positions on this roster. He would also have added value to the return game this season while return man Jamal Agnew sits on injured reserve.
That said, the Lions defense held their own this Sunday and certainly gave the team a chance to win. They limited the Minnesota Vikings to 17 points and snapped wide receiver Adam Thielen‘s streak of 100-yard games. Take away the bonehead play of the day that led to a scoop-and-score and the score was closer than this game looked.
Nevertheless, a loss is a loss. Would Tate’s presence have helped the Lions stalling offense? He sure couldn’t have hurt the unit in this game. Would Peterson have helped prevent a few points here and there? Or would he have helped return a punt or two outside of the five-yard line? We’ll never know.
Still, this game left everyone spreading the blame. As reported by MLive, quarterback Matthew Stafford summed it up by saying, “We all have a day like that. The fault is on everybody.” It’s clear everyone could do better. It’s also clear the team could have used a playmaker on either side of the ball on Sunday.