Wide receiver trades that Detroit Lions should make now

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond (11) (Syndication: Detroit Free Press)
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond (11) (Syndication: Detroit Free Press) /
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MIke Williams, Chargers Wide Receiver
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Lions wide receiver trade target #2

The second name the Detroit Lions should consider is Mike Williams, the current Los Angeles Chargers receiver.  Detroit has tried one Mike Williams but this one is better. He’s going to turn 27 this season and is on his fifth-year option, which pays him $15.7 million for 2021.

If the Detroit Lions traded for him now, they could restructure and extend his deal to make it more cap-friendly. Most importantly, though, he knows Lynn’s system and would easily take over as the best wideout on the roster. What the Chargers would want could be tricky but if they would take a second or third-round pick, the Lions could make it work.

He’s a big outside receiver, 6-4, 220-pounds, who has one 1,001-yard campaign in his four years. Williams has missed some games, though, starting 32 games of 56 games for his career. He has 2,516 yards and 17 scores in those games, according to Pro Football Reference.

His 756 yards-receiving is more than any other current Lions player from last year, so it is an upgrade; Perriman and Tyrell Williams are on one-year deals, so the Lions need some long-term solutions. Williams’ high cap figure and injury propensity could potentially lower the cost to acquire him, as well.

The risk is balanced by the fact that he’s a big-play, contested-ball wide receiver in a similar profile to former Lions’ wide receiver, Kenny Golladay, who inked an $18 million dollars per year contract with the Giants. The Lions should get a third-round pick as compensation for losing Golladay in free agency, so things could even out depending on the deal Williams asks for.

Williams’ Chargers teammate, Keenan Allen’s newest deal ticks up from $15.7 million in 2021 to $25.9 million by 2024 in roughly $3 million dollar increments per year, per Spotrac. Allen is 29 and there is an out for the franchise after 2021 but they seem committed to him for the foreseeable future as their No. 1.

Williams has underachieved for a former Top-10 pick from 2017 and taken a back seat to Allen in Los Angeles; the emergence of several draft picks could make them move him. He could provide a No. 1 wide receiver to the Detroit Lions offense but is at least a high-end second option when healthy.

Jalen Guyton, KJ Hill, Joe Reed, and rookie third-round pick, Josh Palmer, give the Chargers depth for Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense. Put all of that together with the Lions’ extra draft picks and there could be a deal in there somewhere.