Over the weekend, a report suggested that the Lions may add some extra talent and/or depth at defensive tackle by making a trade, as they did earlier this offseason when they acquired Haloti Ngata from Baltimore. For now though, “nothing” is in the works regarding a trade for a DT, team president Tom Lewand tells Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
“As you know, we’re always looking at ways to upgrade,” Lewand said. “[General manager] Martin [Mayhew] is relentless when it comes to looking at ways to improve the roster. When he gets done with one transaction, his focus is on making another one. So as you know, we never rest in those ways and we look at any opportunity that we might come our way to improve the team and evaluate it.”
Having lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in free agency, the Lions have done a decent job revamping their interior defensive line. Besides trading for Ngata, Detroit also signed Tyrunn Walker, a potentially undervalued free agent from the Saints, and drafted Auburn’s Gabe Wright. Still, Wright was a fourth-round pick and Walker has only logged 425 career defensive snaps, so the club could use one more experienced veteran.
While I’m not sure the Lions would seriously consider pursuing either player, Muhammad Wilkerson and Michael Brockers are among the notable defensive tackles who have drawn trade interest within the last few weeks. Fairley’s arrival in St. Louis made Brockers a little more expendable, while Wilkerson was generating trade interest even before the Jets drafted Leonard Williams with the sixth overall pick last month.
If the Lions do attempt to go the trade route to fortify their defensive line, a deal may develop closer to the season, when teams are making roster cutdowns.