2 Blockbuster Trades Lions Could Make

Could the Lions trade young talent?
Detroit Lions quarterback Hendon Hooker (2).
Detroit Lions quarterback Hendon Hooker (2). / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Detroit Lions are entering a pivotal season in 2024.

With a strong foundation built through the Draft and exciting talent added throughout the offseason, the Lions are expected to compete for a Super Bowl title in the fourth year of the Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell era.

As the team has quickly been rebuilt from NFC North bottom feeder to championship contender, the Lions have assembled plenty of talent. They've begun to hand out hefty extensions to their homegrown pieces, too, such as Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell, as well as quarterback Jared Goff.

Because the team has begun to invest resources in these players, it will be battling against the salary cap with the plethora of young talent it has on its roster. As a result, the Lions could ultimately decide to deal some of their young talent in exchange for future assets or players who can help the team pursue a championship in 2024.

Here are two potential blockbuster trades the Lions could make in an effort to add more immediate contributors for the 2024 season.

Hendon Hooker

When the Lions signed Goff to a four-year, $212 million extension this offseason, it cemented his status as the team's franchise quarterback moving forward. This has effects on Hooker, whose rookie contract will expire prior to Goff's final season under contract with the Lions.

With this in mind, Hooker's long-term future will likely be with another team. In the immediate future, he will compete to be Goff's backup, but his future as a starter will most likely come in a different uniform.

For the Lions, it could be wise to deal Hooker early to maximize his value around the league. He has struggled in open practice sessions, but there is still plenty of optimism that he will develop into what the Lions need him to be -- a reliable backup with the ability to manage and win games in a pinch.

If another team that coveted Hooker through last year's draft needs a starter, a trade could be an attractive option. Because the quarterback position is so coveted, teams are often times willing to overpay to make a deal and acquire their desired player.

As a result, the Lions could elect to deal Hooker if another team makes a strong offer.

James Houston

Houston is an intriguing case. After not making the roster out of training camp in his rookie season, he developed on the practice squad before jumping on the active roster and notching eight sacks in the season's final seven games.

With the expectation being that he would break out in 2023, Houston's sophomore campaign was ultimately cut short, thanks to an ankle injury suffered in Week 2. The Jackson State product wouldn't return until the NFC Championship Game, meaning he missed valuable development time.

Detroit added intriguing pieces to its defensive line this offseason, namely veteran Marcus Davenport and reigning CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Mathieu Betts. As a result, there is added competition at the position.

Houston still has the potential to develop into an every-down player, but much of his production in 2022 was through the pass-rush. Detroit tasked him with adding SAM linebacker capabilities, but this was never fully showcased due to the injury.

If the Lions feel good about the combination of Davenport and Betts, along with third-year veteran Josh Paschal, it could allow them to potentially part with Houston. Because pass-rushers are in such high demand, Houston could also fetch a return.

Houston is a player absolutely worth holding on to as the Lions search for more production opposite Aidan Hutchinson. However, the added depth could be fruitful, and as a result, make the defender expendable.

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Christian Booher


Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.