Detroit Lions surprise trade candidate is absolutely ridiculous

A surprise move or two is surely possible, but a surprise trade candidate for the Detroit Lions before the full roster cutdown is ridiculous.
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The final hours before NFL teams have to be down to 53 players is here, with Tuesday afternoon's 4 p.m. ET deadline. There will be, an already have been, surprising moves around the league. The Detroit Lions might have one or two on their docket too.

Trades are possible as teams take inventory of their rosters. A recognizable name or two could be on the move, and we know Lions' general manager Brad Holmes will have his eyes and ears open to possibilities.

On Monday, Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus offered up some surprise trade or cut candidates ahead of Tuesday's roster cutdown deadline. At the top of the trade candidates list, is Lions' second-year edge rusher James Houston.

Before lamenting the idea, here's what Spielberger wrote.

"While preseason football is not quite the real product, there are still many different takeaways to be had from the action leading up to the regular season. Participation data can serve as a key indicator of a player’s location on the depth chart, for example, which made Houston’s 27 snaps in the second half of preseason Week 2 quite notable. Detroit rested the lion’s share of its starters and top contributors, yet Houston handled a significant workload in the second half.

Houston was a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and recorded 17 quarterback pressures and eight sacks on just 92 pass-rush snaps last season, a truly remarkable rate of productivity. However, Detroit used its first- and second-round picks on edge defenders in last year’s draft and also has veterans — including Romeo Okwara, Charles Harris, John Cominsky — in the fold.

It appears Houston may be the odd man out in Detroit, but the Lions definitely shouldn’t release a player with three years of cheap control remaining who showed a knack for getting after the quarterback on limited snaps last season. Many teams would be happy to take a flier on a developmental pass-rush specialist coming off a season with an 88.2 pass-rush grade."

NFL trade rumors: Lions trading James Houston is a ridiculous idea

The Lions are indeed very deep at edge rusher. And it is interesting that Houston saw action deep into the second preseason game. But he also has growth to do as an all-around defender, so those snaps are broadly valuable.

If someone has to give in the Lions' edge rusher mix as the roster is cut down to 53, it surely will not be Houston unless someone blows Holmes away with a trade offer. And maybe not even then.

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