Four moves the Detroit Lions could make to improve but will not.

Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
Malcolm Brown (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Let’s just stop the run

On Twitter yesterday there was a report from Greg Bedard that the Patriots might be interested in trading Malcolm Brown. Without getting behind the paywall that the actual article was behind, it is clear that the author considers the Lions a likely trade partner. Both Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are familiar with the player, it makes perfect sense.

Malcolm Brown is less valuable to the Patriots right now than he would be to the Lions. Reports are that the Pats are moving in the direction of a more 3-4 based defense than the multiple fronted defense of Coach Patricia. Brown’s value is based on his above-average play in all aspects of the position. Limiting their defensive tackles to two-gap technique exclusively greatly reduces Brown’s worth to them.

The Patriots did not pick up the fifth-year option on Brown’s rookie deal. That tells you all you need to know about how much they value him. For a defensive tackle, the cost of the fifth year would have been a mere $7 million. He is clearly not in the Patriots future plans.

Brown is a better pass rusher than the Lions have on the roster at the defensive tackle position. The combination of Ricky Jean-Francois and Malcolm Brown in the middle of the defense is a perfect mix for what the Lions are trying to do. Both players are good enough at everything that their presence on the field doesn’t tip their role to the offense.

The Patriots traded for Danny Shelton from the Cleveland Browns. He has been playing ahead of Brown on the depth chart. Despite this fact, Patriots fans on Twitter suggested either Marvin Jones or Golden Tate as a trade target for their team. That is a ridiculous valuation on a backup defensive tackle.

What I would suggest is something more along the lines of a player swap. Quinn and Patricia will have a reasonably good handle on Lions players that Bill Belichick likes. There have been quite a few deals done between the teams in the past.

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My suggestion for players that the Patriots would likely be willing to give a spin is A’Shawn Robinson. The Lions would clearly need to add a sweetener to the deal in the form of a draft pick, but Robinson is the kind of player that the Patriots often love to take on.

Robinson’s once high draft status checks a box that Belichick often loves. Robinson is also under contract at a very low number for another season after 2018, unlike Brown. A round-four draft pick should get the job done, as the Patriots are clearly moving on from Brown after this season. This way they get a player, and a better pick than any conditional they might receive for Brown after a season as a backup.