Trade proposal is more than Saints can expect to get from Lions for Marshon Lattimore

Marshon Lattimore makes sense as a trade target for the Detroit Lions, but a hypothetical trade proposal is probably more than it would actually take to get him.

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Death. Taxes. The New Orleans Saints in salary cap trouble. These are some of the simple realities in life, and this year is no different as the Saints still sit more than $42 million in the red as of this writing.

Knowing that cap trouble was again coming, the Saints restructured cornerback Marshon Lattimore's contract back in January. That reduced his 2024 cap hit by $11 million, to $14.6 million and made it easier to trade him by dropping his base salary to $1.2 million while converting $13.79 million of his base salary into an option bonus that does not have to be exercised until one week before the regular season starts. The cap hit for that bonus can also be spread out over multiple years, like a signing bonus.

The Saints simply won't gain much by cutting Lattimore, even down to designating him as a post-June 1 cut. He has some inherent trade value anyway, and that's a path to at least getting something for him.

But if the Saints exercised the aforementioned bonus and trade him before June 1, they could take on as much as $45 million in dead money. After June 1 allows that dead money to be spread out.

Lattimore won Defensive Rookie of the Year and made four Pro Bowls in his first five years with the Saints. The last two seasons have not been as good, as he has missed a total of 17 games.

Trade proposal for Lions to get Marshon Lattimore is more than Saints should expect in return

As the Detroit Lions search for upgrades at cornerback this offseason, Lattimore lands as an interesting option.

Lions' head coach Dan Campbell was of course the Saints' tight ends coach from 2016-2020. But more directly related to Lattimore, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was the Saints' defensive backs coach over that same stretch.

With prorated signing bonus and a $2 million roster bonus laced in, Lattimore has big salary cap hits in 2025 ($31.4 million) and 2026 ($28.55 million). That would be a huge consideration for any team that may want to trade for him, but details could be worked out in trade discussions to reduce that.

In a new Saints' mock draft, Drew Collings of Who Dat Dish had the following trade proposal that would send Lattimore to the Lions.

Marshon Lattimore trade

In order to trade Lattimore before June 1 and take on massive dead money, the Saints may need sufficient draft pick compensation to do it. The Lions' first-round pick, and their extra third-round pick via the T.J. Hockenson trade, might do the trick.

The two sixth-round picks the Saints would send to the Lions in this scenario are inconsequential, outside of giving Brad Holmes some extra Day 3 draft capital to possibly make deals with.

So it boils down to, on the idea a trade would happen before the draft, the Lions getting Lattimore for picks 29 and 73 in April's draft. But are the Saints really in any position to ask for the first-rounder? The Lions, or any other interested team, could just wait until June 2 to finalize a deal.

Pick No. 73 and a later pick? Pick No. 61 and pick No. 73 this year? Now we're possibly talking, in terms of a trade to send the Saints 2024 draft picks for Lattimore. The first-round pick this year is a stretch, and not aligned with what New Orleans should expect to get in any possible trade with the Lions.

Detroit Lions mock draft: Pre-NFL Combine, 7-round edition. Detroit Lions mock draft: Pre-NFL Combine, 7-round edition. dark. Next