The Detroit Lions have made a major change at the quarterback position this offseason already, and another one could be coming down the pipeline in the weeks ahead.
When the agreed-upon trade involving Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford goes through at the start of the new league year on March 17, the Lions will have solidified their new starting signal-caller. Chase Daniel remains entrenched as the No. 2 option, but that could be changing in the days ahead as well.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday, the Lions are taking trade calls on Daniel, their backup last season.
Lions have had trade discussions with other teams regarding their backup QB Chase Daniel, per sources. Daniel has been considered an ideal mentor for young QBs, something he learned from Drew Brees during their time together in New Orleans.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2021
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Teams around the league might consider Daniel a mentor for a young quarterback. The Lions, who signed the 11-year veteran to a three-year, $13 million free agent deal last March, had been using Daniel as an insurance policy for Stafford, but his days in Detroit could now be numbered given his bloated $5-plus million cap hits over the next two seasons, currently the 29th-highest among all quarterbacks.
If the Lions traded Daniel, the team would likely have to find another backup quarterback for the 2021 season. In that situation, Detroit might once again look to draft a player or perhaps sign a more established veteran such as Tyrod Taylor. It would represent a pretty interesting change in philosophy for the team and its new coaching staff.
Lions’ 2021 QB Situation Will Look Different
The Lions will have Goff set to come in the building in the weeks ahead, and he seems primed to be (at least) the short-term solution for the team. Goff is still 26 years old and theoretically could still have his best days ahead of him considering he has already amassed a 6-5 record and Super Bowl appearance as a starter in the playoffs and had to play through a significant thumb injury late last season. Knowing this, it’s a wiser bet the Lions would consider a wideout or a defensive player with their first selection this year. A quarterback to add to the mix could be prioritized later in the draft, however.
Trading Daniel might open up a bigger need for the Lions at quarterback and ensure the club would commit to complete change at the position this offseason under a new offensive coordinator and staff. It might even keep a quarterback in play for the seventh overall selection as well.
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Chase Daniel’s Career Statistics
After playing college football at Missouri, Daniel entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009. His first stop was with the Washington Football Team, and from there, has spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears. In his career, the 34-year-old journeyman has compiled 1,430 passing yards and seven touchdowns in five career starts — his last coming in Week 11 of the 2019 campaign.
Daniel has made his biggest impact with the Bears. He helped beat the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in 2018 when Mitch Trubisky couldn’t play, and seemingly, that’s just the type of game the Lions wanted to ask him to win in the absence of their quarterback. Daniel wasn’t able to do that last season for Detroit, but he is still a solid veteran option in the league.
With that comfortable fit, the Lions should have the backup position established into the future in a big way.