Lions make shrewd-looking trade with Buccaneers for cornerback Carlton Davis

The Lions have secured a veteran cornerback as Day 1 of free agency winds down, making a reported deal with Tampa Bay for Carlton Davis.
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions started their active end to Day 1 of NFL free agency by signing edge rusher Marcus Davenport to a one-year deal. On top of that news came a report of a trade.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Lions have agreed to a trade that will land them cornerback Carlton Davis from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Pelissero, the Lions will send their own third-round pick this year (No. 9 overall) to Tampa Bay and they'll also get sixth-round picks in 2024 and 2025.

Davis, a second-round pick by the Buccaneers in 2018, is entering the final year of a three-year, $45 million deal, and he's due to make $14 million in base salary with a $14.3 million cap hit this year. The Lions could reduce both of those numbers if they sign Davis to a contract extension this offseason.

Davis was a lock down corner in man coverage for Tampa Bay last season. Just the kind of guy the Lions need.

The Lions also got an up-close look at Davis twice last season, in the regular season and in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Lions acquire Carlton Davis from Buccaneers, may not be done at cornerback

Davis has missed some time in all six of his NFL seasons, which isn't ideal. But he has started 75 of his 76 games, finishing second in the league in pass breakups twice (19 in 2019; 18 in 2020). Over his six seasons in Tampa, he had nine interceptions and 73 pass breakups with at least 60 total tackles three times.

The Lions may not be done adding veteran cornerbacks, and taking a cornerback early in the draft will likely remain in play. But Davis, a productive, reliable veteran with some playoff experience, is a nice move to bolster a pass defense that needs improvement.


Next. 5 bargain targets for the Detroit Lions in free agency. 5 bargain targets for the Detroit Lions in free agency. dark