The latest receiver trade of the 2023 season has emerged. Donovan Peoples-Jones is on his way from the Browns to the Lions, as first reported by Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
The move is now official, and NFL Network’s Pelissero notes Cleveland will receive a 2025 sixth-round pick in exchange. Peoples-Jones, a Detroit native, will now take part in a homecoming to close out the final season of his rookie contract. He will look to add at least a depth presence in the Lions’ receiving corps.
The Michigan alum took on a starting role in his second season, and he has remained a constant presence in the Browns’ passing game since. Peoples-Jones saw his receiving total grow from 304 yards as a rookie to 597 the following year to 839 in 2022. That improvement led to the expectation for further growth, but that has not been the case this season.
Amari Cooper has, as expected, served as the Browns’ top receiver since his arrival last year. 2023 trade acquisition Elijah Moore has also worked in a starting capacity, which has played a role in Peoples-Jones’ share in the offense taking a step back. The latter has made only eight catches this season, though he has also provided special teams value by continuing to operate as Cleveland’s punt returner.
The Lions have Amon-Ra St. Brown at the top of their WR depth chart, with the likes of Jameson Williams, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond serving in complementary roles. Detroit recently lost a veteran contributor when Marvin Jones stepped away from football to attend to a family matter. Peoples-Jones, who owns a career yards per catch average of 15.7, will aim to give his new team another deep threat in the passing game.
Succeeding in that capacity could boost his free agent value ahead of the spring. Peoples-Jones’ stock has no doubt taken a hit compared to where it stood before the campaign, but a strong showing in Detroit would help him recoup value on a deal keeping him in the Motor City or one sending him elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how he fits into Detroit’s offense and special teams while the 6-2 Lions aim for a postseason run.