At 5-2, the Detroit Lions are still leading the NFC North by two games, even after a brutal loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Behind them, suddenly, are the 3-4 Minnesota Vikings who had started the season 1-3 and are winners of two-straight. Still, the Vikings project more as a seller by this year's trade deadline, which falls on Halloween.
If the Lions wanted to take advantage of Minnesota selling off a few veterans, they could look at these three players.
1. Harrison Smith, S
The Lions' current starting strong safety, Kerby Joseph, recently entered and cleared concussion protocol. But, there are two reasons trading for Smith might make sense. First, another hard hit to Joseph and things start getting more serious when it comes to concussion protocols. Second, Joseph has not played particularly well this year.
If he's asked to play near the line of scrimmage, Joseph is great. However, if he's asked to drop into coverage, that's where he struggles. Meanwhile, Smith is still a good coverage safety while also bringing the physicality against the run. Smith has forced three fumbles already this season, just to prove that point. On the flip side, Smith has yes to give up a touchdown when in coverage.
He's quietly having a wonderful season, and the Lions could benefit by dealing for the 6-time Pro Bowl safety. Smith has two years left on his current deal after this year, and if he didn't work out for the Lions, the team could save $12 million by cutting him in 2024 and $19 million in 2025.