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Why didn’t Detroit Lions do more at the trade deadline?

Lions avoid deadline deals after making trade last week

General manager Bob Quinn of the Detroit Lions speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 25, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
General manager Bob Quinn of the Detroit Lions speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 25, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (2020 Getty Images)

DETROIT – It was a quiet trade deadline for the Detroit Lions as they opted to mostly stay put with what they had. They added one player last week, but decided against trading anyone away, or adding anyone else.

Sitting at 3-4 and currently not holding a playoff spot, why didn’t Detroit do more at the deadline?

One trade was enough

The Lions picked up defensive end Everson Griffen last week for a conditional sixth round pick. Griffen will make his Lions debut this week, just in time to replace Trey Flowers, who was put on injured reserve.

Looking at his roster and the Lions' schedule the rest of the way, Bob Quinn might have deemed that trade enough to help the Lions push for a wild card spot this year.

To get something, you’ve got to give something. Giving up another draft pick would’ve been too expensive for the Lions. They now have only five picks in next year’s draft, compared to eight picks last year.

Injury concerns

The injuries to Flowers and Kenny Golladay limited what the Lions could do. There aren’t many trade chips on the Lions' defense, and when you take Flowers out of the lineup, it asks a lot more of everyone else. That means guys who could’ve been traded -- such as Jarrad Davis -- need to stick around and play an increased role.

On offense, the uncertainty surrounding how long Golladay will be out kept the Lions from trading Marvin Jones. The Lions need at least one of their top receivers around because we saw how it struggled without Golladay earlier this season.

Moving forward without both Golladay and Jones would leave the Lions with no real receiving threat out wide, limiting the offense.

No good offers

One last reason that no additional deadline deals were made is the Lions didn’t get any good offers. The Lions would’ve likely asked for a mid-round pick for Jones. They’re different players, but when the Lions traded Golden Tate at the deadline in 2018, they got a third-round pick in return.

This year, that seems to be too high of a price to get a trade done. Traded players have to sit out one week because of COVID-19 protocols, so a draft pick is a lot to give up for a player on an expiring contract.

The Lions also might be thinking they want to bring Jones back next year. If they want to do that, it would’ve taken a considerable pick to give Jones away, and the Lions obviously did not get what they would’ve needed to make a trade.