The Detroit Lions have a history of trades with the New England Patriots. Will that tradition continue this offseason during the NFL draft?
The connections between the Detroit Lions and the New England Patriots are well-documented. Both Lions general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia are famously ex-Patriots who are trying to bring New England’s winning culture and championship pedigree to the Motor City.
Not only have the Lions signed several former Patriot players to join their roster like defensive end Trey Flowers, wide receiver Danny Amendola, quarterback Matt Cassel, running back LeGarrette Blount, and many others, but Detroit has also been a willing trade partner with New England.
The previous relationship forged between Quinn, Patricia, and Pats head coach Bill Belichick has resulted in many draft-day trades. In fact, the Lions landed both running back Kerryon Johnson and defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand due to trades with New England during the 2018 NFL Draft.
Just last year, the Lions attempted to trade former 2017 fourth-round selection, tight end Michael Roberts, to the Patriots for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2020. The trade would later be rescinded after Roberts failed his physical and he was simply waived by Detroit.
During Quinn’s first season in Detroit as GM back in 2016, the Patriots traded linebacker Jonathan Bostic to Motown for a conditional seventh-rounder. During the 2017 NFL Draft, the Patriots jumped up 11 spots in the third round trading their third and fourth-round selections to the Lions in exchange. Detroit used one of those picks to land Pro Bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
With longtime Patriots quarterback Tom Brady expected to hit free agency this offseason, there could be a massive void under center in New England. If so, Belichick could look to Detroit to fill it.
The Lions possess the third overall selection in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. And although Patricia claims it’s way too early to be considering a possible trade for the pick, a phone call from his old mentor in Belichick could quickly change things.
Detroit’s top spot in the draft figures to draw a lot of potential trade attention from quarterback-needy teams. New England seemingly being one of them. And one the Lions have a direct connection and trade history with.
The Patriots own the 23rd overall selection in the first round and are unlikely to land one of the top passing prospects standing pat. But in order to move up a whopping 20 spots, it will likely take multiple high draft selections and potentially a coveted veteran or two.
Of course, New England might be calling Detroit in the coming weeks for a different reason. And that’s inquiring about the availability of quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford, who will be turning 32-years old next month, is coming off an injury-plagued season where he missed eight games due to back and hip injuries. If the Lions are considering using their first-round selection in 2020 on a quarterback, Stafford might find himself on the trading block. And the Patriots could be a potential landing spot.
"“The sweet spot for me is the third pick overall with the Detroit Lions. I don’t see how the Lions let Tua get past them … It just makes so much sense, right? Because Matthew Stafford, even though he’s been around for so long, he’s only 31-years old. So, let him go to New England, get another pick. What you need in Detroit is depth, you need talent. And the only way you’re going to get talent is by getting rid of your biggest chip, which is Matthew Stafford.”"
Trading away Matthew Stafford and drafting a quarterback to replace him would be a sign of a team that is in the midst of a rebuild. Based on the fact Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford expects her team to be a playoff contender in 2020, trading away Stafford doesn’t seem likely to happen this offseason.
Yet, no one can deny the connection between the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions. And it’s that relationship that could make a blockbuster trade for the third overall selection in the draft possible.