Robert Woods seems to be available, but can the Detroit Lions legitimately compete among multiple likely suitors to get him?
The rich got a little bit richer again on Thursday, as the Los Angeles Rams agreed to a free agent deal with wide receiver Allen Robinson. They still want to bring back Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp is obviously not going anywhere and neither is Van Jefferson as a depth option. But what about Robert Woods?
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Woods is now a “prime trade candidate” and the Rams are receiving calls about him.
As Schefter cited, Woods is working his way back from a torn ACL in the middle of last season. But he’s expected to be ready for training camp, and other teams have clearly seen some possible writing on the wall for him with the Rams signing Robinson.
Leaving aside last season, Woods has been one of the most underappreciated and sneakily productive wide receivers in the NFL. He had at least 86 receptions in three straight seasons prior to 2021, with over 1,100 yards in the first two.
Can the Lions legitimately compete to acquire Robert Woods?
It’s easy to name some possible suitors for Woods–the Green Bay Packers, the Atlanta Falcons (especially if they get Deshaun Watson), the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs all make a level of sense, and there are plenty of others who could or should have interest.
Even after signing DJ Chark as well as re-signing Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond, the Detroit Lions could certainly still be looking for opportunities to add a veteran receiver. Like Reynolds, Woods has a tie to quarterback Jared Goff–with the aforementioned three seasons before 2021 coming with Goff as the Rams’ quarterback.
Any talk of the Rams trading or another team acquiring Woods has to come with some mention of his contract. He is under contract through 2025, via a four-year, $65 million extension he signed in 2020, with a cap hit of $15.7 million for 2022 (via Over The Cap) and a $10 million 2022 base salary set to become fully guaranteed on March 20.
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If they’re willing to trade him the Rams could do Woods a solid and send him somewhere he’d like to go, even without no-trade clause rights or deference to who makes the richest offer. Where the Lions do, or may eventually, sit on those spectrums is unclear. But they should absolutely have interest until it’s unequivocally rebuffed, or Woods is sent elsewhere, and make the Rams turn down an offer that includes picks within the first few rounds in one or both of the next two drafts.