Pro Football Focus has Detroit Lions making bold trade for wide receiver
On a list of ‘trades to watch out for’ this offseason, the Detroit Lions make a bold trade for a wide receiver.
The focus for the Detroit Lions this offseason, from free agency through the draft, will be on the defensive side of the ball. But they are also faced with the prospect of losing key pieces of a top-five offense in 2022, as running back Jamaal Williams and wide receiver DJ Chark are free agents.
So some narrow focus on the offense is in play, with eyes on 2023 and down the road depending on the position we’re talking about. Making sure the offense remains top-notch will be an ongoing thing.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has a brand-new list of “Five trades to watch out for in the 2023 NFL offseason.” Some easy players are there–Aaron Rodgers, DeAndre Hopkins, Jalen Ramsey, even Brandin Cooks. The fifth player makes some sense to as a trade candidate, but the Lions might not be high on lists of suitors for said player.
Detroit Lions make bold trade for wide receiver in PFF proposal
To finish his list, Spielberger sends Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins to the Lions.
Trade compensation: 2023 1st, 2024 4th
Contract acquired: One year, $2,993,000 ($0 total guaranteed)
"….there’s no guarantee the Bengals can’t or won’t work out a long-term deal with the 2020 second-rounder….but this would more than likely be a franchise-altering offseason for Cincinnati from an operational standpoint if they work out extensions for Higgins and Burrow.From Detroit’s perspective, while they made a huge trade-up in the 2022 NFL Draft for speedy wide receiver Jameson Williams, they followed that move up by sending tight end T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings for a package including a second-round pick at the trade deadline.Here, the Lions send the No. 18 overall pick — the same pick the Philadelphia Eagles traded to the Tennessee Titans for A.J. Brown during last year’s draft — along with a future fourth-rounder for Higgins. Higgins can be the new big-bodied receiver in the Lions’ offense, filling the void left by Hockenson and potentially free agent D.J. Chark. Last but certainly not least, the Lions will still have the No. 6 overall pick from the Los Angeles Rams in this year’s draft.Higgins has been durable and productive through his first three seasons, using his big frame to haul in 44 contested catches over the span — fifth most among wide receivers in the NFL — with his 25 catches on balls thrown 20-plus yards downfield tied for 14th. Defenses would be in a bind trying to defend Higgins, Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown each week."
Higgins being traded by the Bengals falls into the “they probably can’t pay everybody” bucket. Quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase are lined up for big contracts soon. In a broad sense, even if he ends up leaving in free agency next year, there’s not a great reason for them to trade Higgins this offseason; beyond the idea of losing him for nothing but a compensatory pick. But teams may see an opportunity, and come with offers that’ll be hard to refuse this offseason.
For the Lions, Higgins would be a direct replacement for Chark. And a major upgrade at that. The odds he’s significantly on the radar of Detroit’s front office feel remote though, with Amon-Ra St. Brown also lined up for a nice contract soon. But never say never, if the Lions aren’t willing to pay Chark more than he’s worth and they eye a significant pivot.