After narrowly missing out on the playoffs this year, these three bold moves could put the Detroit Lions in the Super Bowl next season.
After starting 1-6 this season, and with legit questions about head coach Dan Campbell’s job security if things continued that way, the Detroit Lions won eight of the their last 10 games to finish above .500 for the first time since 2017.
With even a little less ineptitude from the referees in the Seahawks-Rams Week 18 game, they may have gotten the help they needed to make the playoffs (a Rams win).
But the future is bright for the Lions. And if offensive coordinator Ben Johnson choosing to stay rather than further entertain head coaching opportunities is an indication, Detroit is becoming a place players and coaches want to be.
Via SI.com, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick has already tabbed the Lions as Super Bowl contenders for 2023.
"I’m going to say this now. I believe this team is a Super Bowl contender in 2023. I think what Dan Campbell is doing is just absolutely phenomenal, in terms of culture setting,” Riddick said. “I think young offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, what he did with Jared Goff this season — when Jared Goff had basically been thrown on the trash heap."
If the Lions are going pay off Riddick’s prediction, these three bold moves would get them there.
3 bold moves to get the Detroit Lions to the Super Bowl next season
Move No. 3: Trade for Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey
Even with head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford coming back, the Rams need to shake some things up this offseason. Ramsey stirred up speculation about his future after the aforementioned season-ending Week 18 loss to Seattle.
That felt like an expectation from Ramsey the Rams will try to trade him this offseason. The 28-year old has three years left on his contract, at base salaries of $17 million (2023), $14.5 million (2024) and $15.5 million (2025), with dates each year where either a chunk of salary (2023) or a $4 million roster bonus (2024 and 2025) comes due (via Over The Cap). The Rams would retain the cap implications attached to Ramsey’s prorated signing bonus, but a post-June 1 trade would clear $17 million in cap space for them this year.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes was working in the Rams’ front office when they acquired Ramsey, as was assistant GM Ray Agnew. Detroit’s search for a No. 1 corner this offseason may start (or end?) here, at a cost which wouldn’t necessarily have to be prohibitive in terms of draft capital.
NFL reporter Jason La Canfora recently offered a note mentioning Ramsey.
"It’s a matter of when Rams star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Arizona Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins are traded, not if. And the GMs I’ve spoken to don’t believe those teams will get anywhere near the compensation that their fans might expect."