Lions: ESPN Suggests Trading Calvin Johnson to Patriots


With the NFL trade deadline next week, ESPN has picked some outrageous trades they’d like to see, including the Detroit Lions trading Calvin Johnson away.

Greg Garber’s hypothetical deal has the Lions sending Johnson to the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick.

The problem is he spends most of the article arguing for the deal from the Patriots side – an argument that should require few points. The Patriots are in a position to win and could use a receiver like Calvin Johnson as the icing on an already very good cake. Further, there is a natural parallel to this hypothetical deal from recent history when Randy Moss joined the Patriots at a similar point in his career.

Why the Lions should do the deal is limited to one paragraph:

"Second, at 1-6, the Lions have little chance of making the playoffs; shockingly, they could snag the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016 and must start thinking about the future. Johnson, with 43 catches for 574 yards, carries an unsustainable $20.5 million salary cap hit this year, $24 million the next and $21 million in 2017, with no guaranteed money due."

The Lions have some things to figure out concerning Johnson’s future cap hits but Garber was perfectly fine to write those away from the Patriots side with Johnson agreeing to take a pay cut. That’s certainly easier for a player to do when a championship is a distinct possibility, but the could also look to re-work Johnson’s deal by guaranteeing money for two years like the Arizona Cardinals did in a nearly identical situation with Larry Fitzgerald last offseason.

At the core of this issue is just how far the Lions are away from contending from a personnel standpoint. Considering the disappointment of this season is more on the coaching side than the personnel side, it isn’t so far fetched to expect a coaching shakeup with some personnel improvements could have the Lions winning football games before Johnson’s career is through.

But if a longer rebuild is required, perhaps it does make sense to move on from Calvin Johnson to look toward a future without him.

There is certainly a swell of fans who are prepared for a total housecleaning and a full-out rebuild, but does that include parting with Calvin Johnson? Let us know by leaving a comment below or hitting us up on Facebook or Twitter.

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