The Detroit Lions are rumored to be in trade talks with the New England Patriots for their 41-year old six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Tom Brady.
Note: This article was originally published on April 1, 2019.
The Detroit Lions‘ current regime certainly love all things New England Patriots. Both Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia are longtime alums of the Patriots’ organization. Quinn spent 16 years in New England’s scouting department before coming to the Motor City in 2016. Patricia spent 14 years on the Patriots’ coaching staff, his last six seasons spent as their defensive coordinator.
Quinn brought Patricia over last offseason to replace head coach Jim Caldwell in Detroit. And the two went about the business of changing the culture in Motown. One of the ways they approached doing so was by signing several ex-Patriots. Players like running back LeGarrette Blount, quarterback Matt Cassel, defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, plus linebackers Marquis Flowers and Trevor Bates all played for the Lions last season.
That trend continued this offseason when Detroit landed free agent defensive end Trey Flowers, cornerback Justin Coleman and wide receiver Danny Amendola, all of whom were famously former Pats.
Now it appears the Lions are trying to land the biggest Patriot of them all. According to an unnamed source, Detroit is currently in trade talks with New England for six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady. The rumored asking price? 31-year old quarterback Matthew Stafford and draft compensation.
In the alleged proposal, the Lions would potentially ship Stafford, a 2019 third-round selection (88th overall) and a 2020 fourth rounder to Bill Belichick and the Patriots. In exchange, New England would agree to trade Brady to Detroit, plus their 2019 first round selection (32nd).
The move would give the Lions a 14-time Pro Bowler under center who is 41-years old and claims he can play another three to four years. Brady has one-year left on his current contract with a salary cap hit of $27 million in 2019. Undoubtedly any proposed trade would include an agreement to extend his contract in Detroit.
If this trade is indeed made, the Lions would suddenly own two selections in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. If there is a player Detroit covets in the top five, perhaps they could package those picks to move up. But the organization could also stand pat and simply reap the benefits of landing two top prospects. One said prospect might be a young quarterback Detroit could groom behind Brady.
This possible move should come as no real surprise as just last offseason the Lions were also in trade talks for Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski. But the then-eight year veteran threatened to retire rather than leave New England and ultimately got his wish. That left Detroit without a legitimate tight end all of last season. And the Lions’ offense suffered for it.
Gronkowski recently announced his actual retirement late last month, but there is some speculation that he could return if the Patriots struggle without him. As for the Lions, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter was replaced with Darrell Bevell, and the team signed former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James in free agency.
The Lions also have a history of making trades with the Patriots, undoubtedly due to their previous ties. In last year’s draft, Detroit traded up in the second round with New England in order to select Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson. The next day, the Lions traded a 2019 third-round selection to the Pats in order to draft Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand in the fourth round.
Coming to Detroit would be a bit of a homecoming for the NFL’s most revered passer. Tom Brady famously played his college ball at Michigan before being drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, 199th overall by New England. It’s actually hard to imagine Brady finishing his career with the Lions. But it’s even more difficult to believe you’ve forgotten what day it is.
Happy April Fools’ Day everyone! The above story is entirely fake. Do we fool you? Tells us in the comment section below. And feel free to share this fabricated story with other fans to see if you can fool a few as well.