Devin White feels like a ridiculously poor fit for the Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are somewhat easy to tie to the Devin White on the heels of his trade demand, but he feels like a very poor fit in Detroit.
A headline came earlier this week when ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White has requested a trade because he’s “fed up” with his situation. The reason he’s unhappy is easy to tab, but Laine’s sources have said White’s frustration is over negotiations on a new contract.
White has been a productive player over four seasons in Tampa Bay, with more than 120 tackles in each of the last three seasons, two seasons with at least 5.5 sacks, a Second Team All-Pro nod in 2020 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2021.
But he is not without some serious flaws. His missed tackle rate has been at least 8.1 percent in all four of his NFL seasons, and he has allowed at least a 104.9 passer rating in his coverage in two of the last three seasons.
Devin White and the Detroit Lions are simply not a good match
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report made a list of five potential landing spots for White. Written in order from the fifth-best to the best match, the Lions are in the middle. Moton noted White’s ability as a blitzer and pass rusher, with the Lions blitzing over 31 percent of the time last season and the schematic fit he’d be.
While they clearly like their current corps of linebackers, the idea the Lions should be looking to upgrade their raw talent level at the position is not a reach. But intertwined with White’s flaws shown by numbers, and that he wants a new contract, is this.
During the Buccaneers Week 8 Thursday night game against the Baltimore Ravens last year, Hall of Famer Warren Sapp openly questioned White’s effort level (via David Harrison of SI.com).
"I want you to watch the effort of the captain right here, No. 45,” Sapp says as he begins his evaluation of the play. “How do you show up with your defense on Monday morning with this type of effort? I’d ask for your ‘C’ off your chest. Are you (expletive) me? Are you kidding me right now? What is that?”"
Apart from talent level, Dan Campbell and the Lions coaching staff demand consistent effort and easily foster buy-in from players.
White has questions in both of those areas, especially if a new team doesn’t give him a suitable new contract pretty much immediately upon acquiring him.
It’s easy to say they should be in on him, and/or they make good sense as a landing spot for him. But the all-around fit feels strained to a point the Lions have likely not given trading for White more than a cursory initial thought. And they’ve probably already moved on from an initial discussion spurred by the news of the trade request.