Detroit Lions have given away all their D’Andre Swift trade leverage
It has been easy to think the Detroit Lions could trade D’Andre Swift, and they’ve given away any leverage they might have had.
Based on Dan Campbell’s comments about him back at the NFL Combine, the idea the Detroit Lions could trade running back D’Andre Swift has lingered through the signing of David Montgomery and into the draft.
Just this week, a report surfaced saying teams were calling the Lions about Swift. Not surprising, but within the idea they’d draft a running back it took on a heightened level of interest/urgency.
Then the Lions drafted Alabama running back Jahmir Gibbs at No. 12 overall Thursday night. That seems to be obvious writing on the wall for Swift, and general manager Brad Holmes said it all in his press conference wrapping up the first round.
It’s fair to say the skill sets of Gibbs and Swift overlap, and probably overlap too much for both to have much of a role if everyone’s healthy. Swift has been the Lions’ passing down back, when he’s been healthy, and that’s the role Gibbs would be ticketed for behind Montgomery.
The Lions have given away all their leverage for a D’Andre Swift trade
What the Lions could even get for Swift in a trade is up for conversation. Someone may willingly take a flier on him, entering the last year of his contract and on an idea they can unlock his full potential. But what is that worth? A Day 3 pick? Maybe late Day 2?
Right on cue, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Friday morning the Lions are getting trade calls about Swift.
"Sources: The #Lions are receiving trade calls on running back D’Andre Swift, whose representatives have been in contact with the team about potentially moving to a new team. With Detroit drafting Jahmyr Gibbs, the talented Swift appears poised to leave Detroit."
Swift’s agent is apparently involved now, as they see the writing on the wall for their client after the Lions drafted Gibbs. It’s perfectly understandable that Swift would want to go elsewhere–he has been replaced in the draft, and in the first round at that.
There was a solid chance the Lions were going to come out of this draft with a running back. Doing it in the first round, and making Gibbs their choice after moving down to 12th overall, confirmed how much of a priority it was after Bijan Robinson was gone at No. 8.
But in the process of drafting Gibbs, if there was any leverage to be had when trying to trade a running back who you clearly had little more use for, the Lions gave away all their leverage in a D’Andre Swift trade. And they did it before the first half of the draft’s first round was over.