It's natural for any fanbase when a player who underachieved for their team gets traded. There is certainly a segment of Detroit Lions fans (hopefully a small one) that has fear D'Andre Swift will reach his full potential as a Philadelphia Eagle. We're hear to tell you it's an irrational fear, but the proof one way or another will end up being in the on-field pudding this coming season.
When the Lions took Jahmyr Gibbs No. 12 overall, that was the final straw that sent Swift elsewhere after buildup all offseason to that point. Time will tell if Gibbs is an upgrade over Swift, but head coach Dan Campbell was done with Swift and a fresh start was needed for both sides.
Some people think Swift will have the best year of his career with the Eagles this year. It's certainly not out of the question, whatever statistical marks would qualify as such after three disappointing seasons as a Lion. There seems to be an idea he was this misused star in Detroit.
But at least right now, it's a stretch to say the Lions will really miss Swift this year.
Former general manager taps into notion the Detroit Lions will really miss D'Andre Swift
Former NFL general manager Randy Mueller, writing for The Athletic (subscription required), recently listed out his biggest concerns for each NFC North team. One about the Lions was regarding the defense, and the other was about replacing Swift with Gibbs.
"I don’t love the D’Andre Swift running back swap-out for rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, who rotated mostly in college and did not gain 1,000 yards in any one season. I think Swift is really good and could have a giant year with the Eagles. I do understand there may have been frustration with his inconsistent availability due to injury. But youth and unproven players always cause a bit of anxiety. Lions fans should enjoy Gibbs’ skill set as a receiver right away, so I get it.""- Randy Mueller, The Athletic
Swift's electric potential is obvious to anyone who has seen him play. But he has not fully cashed it in yet, due primarily to being perpetually banged up. At this point, it's hard to see him suddenly becoming a picture of durability on a new team.
At worse, it seems the swap of Gibbs for Swift will be a "six of one, half-dozen of the other" concept for the Lions' offensive backfield. If Gibbs is able to be more available, then the equation tips toward him.
The idea that Swift will be hard for the Lions to replace needs to go away, until there's evidence a mistake was made. That evidence just doesn't exist right now, and come January it probably still won't.