NFL Trade Deadline: Should the Detroit Lions target LT Jake Long?


Ah yes, the NFL Trade Deadline is fast approaching. The time of year when… well… actually, very few trades take place. The trade deadline is perhaps the one area where the National Football League would fall short on “buzz”, or “hype” if compared to the NBA or MLB. That’s because very few teams look to make a mid-season trade these days.

The huge lemon that was the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline left Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated with this to say:

"“It’s rare when an opportunity to create conversation around the NFL falls short compared to other major sports leagues.As with many things, the NFL trading deadline—this year and all years—is more smoke than fire. Even when players are moved, the impact appears limited at best. Football and trading don’t appear to be a consistently workable complement.”"

Still, just because there were no major moves at last years NFL trade deadline doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be one, or two this season.

With that in mind, I came up with this:

Should the Detroit Lions target Left Tackle, Jake Long in a trade with the St. Louis Rams?

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The idea, while completely hypothetical, certainly sounds good on paper.

Long is a Southeast, Michigan native who played his college ball at the nearby, University of Michigan. Following his senior season as a Wolverine, Long was selected as the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He has also been to four Pro Bowls in his career.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions offense has struggled through much of the 2014 regular season. That is considered a surprise by some, keeping in mind that Head Coach, Jim Caldwell has an extensive football resume — including working directly with the great Peyton Manning.

So why the lack of results from the Lions high-powered offense?

The answer is simple, and it IS NOT due to a lack of Calvin Johnson on the field, though it would be great to have him play the next two weeks.

The real answer is that the Detroit Lions offensive line has done a complete 180 from where they were one year ago. Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford went from having a plethora of time to throw the ball in 2013, to being constantly pressured, hurried, hit, and sacked this season.

Every time Stafford dropped back last Sunday he was almost immediately running for his life.

When your quarterback is throwing the ball away too early or getting sacked for a loss, it sets the team up with long distance second and third downs. Essentially stacking the odds against themselves.

Stafford also set a season low in passing yards against the Minnesota Vikings, totaling 185 yards through the air. When coach Caldwell was asked about the performance, he cited at least some of the mistakes from the guys up front.

"“One sack is too many in my estimation, so we gotta continue to work in that area,” he said, noting the line’s role in the offensive stagnation. “I think we hurt ourselves, we had three successive drives where we had holding penalties, a sack. . .it left us with a situation where it was third down (and long). We didn’t overcome those. The last couple weeks we had some struggles.”"

That is where Long comes in.

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The Rams may be more likely to let Long go due to the fact that No. 2 overall pick, Greg Robinson is waiting in the wings. Furthermore, the Rams are almost certainly building for the future after losing both Sam Bradford and Chris Long early in the season. Robinson is likely a part of those future plans, and the best way for him to progress is to play.

Again, hypothetical, but if the Detroit Lions were to pull off a trade for the local boy, LT Jake Long they would almost immediately solidify the offensive line. Long, who is currently 29-years-old, could start at LT, moving Riley Reiff back to RT to replace the struggling LaAdrian Waddle. Perhaps the Lions even include Waddle on the trade?

This just might work.

With Long protecting his blind side, and Reiff blocking on the right, Lions quarterback might have enough time to make a calculated decision. If the Lions offense can move the football, they would essentially be able to let the NFL’s No. 1 ranked defense get some much-needed rest.

There is no doubt that the city of Detroit would love nothing more than to have its hometown hero back and it’s also likely that Long wouldn’t mind potentially finishing his career back where it began, in Michigan.

The NFL Trade Deadline is October 28, 2014 at 4 pm/ET

Will this trade happen? It’s probably unlikely, but it would be a welcomed one if they did, by both the fans and Stafford. Stay logged into Detroit Jock City al week for all of your late-breaking Lions news and analysis.