The Detroit Lions have been floated as a possible landing spot for former No. 2 overall pick Chase Young. But according to oddsmakers, the Lions are not only a potential destination, but are the most likely spot for the star defensive end to land.
Assuming Young’s next team is not the Washington Commanders, the Lions hold the best betting odds of acquiring Young at +400. The Seattle Seahawks have the second-best odds followed by the Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
Young trade rumors have heated up this week because of a report from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
Chase Young to be Traded Before the Start of the 2023 Season?
Breer declined to name any possible trade suitors for Young and even wrote that “it seems unlikely the Washington brass would move” the 24-year-old this offseason.
But Breer also reported that he knows the Commanders would “be open to listening” to trade offers for Young.
That has sent the NFL media into a frenzy of sorts during the first full week of June. Vegas joined the rumor mill, naming the Lions the betting favorite for Young.
Young has missed 22 games because of a tear in his right ACL and patellar tendon since he made the Pro Bowl and won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020. The best scenario for him would likely be to stay in Washington for 2023 — the final year of his rookie contract. If he returns healthy and plays well, Young can earn a lucrative contract, and he has a better chance of getting back to his 2020 form in a defensive system he already knows.
The problem for Young, though, is Washington has recently paid interior defensive linemen Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen with big contracts. Breer questioned whether the Commanders would reward Young with a big deal even if he earns it.
That could lead to Washington dealing Young to a team willing to roll the dice on the former No. 2 pick.
Why the Lions are a Potential Destination for Young
Detroit should be interested in inquiring about Young for multiple reasons. First, he’d be another dynamic pass rusher in the Lions defense.
Rookies Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston combined to record 17.5 of the team’s 39 sacks last season. Adding Young could give the Lions defense a more balanced pass rush.
Young would also likely help against the run, which is Detroit’s biggest weakness.
During his rookie season, the Pro Football Focus player grades ranked Young a top 10 edge rusher in run defense. The Lions could really use a player of that caliber against the run. Detroit was 29th in run defense and 30th in yards allowed per carry during 2022.
If the price for Young is right, he could be a major addition for the Lions defense.
Okwara wasn’t as big of a presence for the Detroit defense last season, but in 2021, he had 5 sacks with 6 tackles for loss.
Giving up Okwara and a third-rounder for a player still recovering from a serious knee injury is risky. But it also has the potential to be a high reward for a team expected to compete in the NFL playoffs this season.
That makes the Lions one of the more likely, if not the most probable, trade destinations for Young if he’s moved before September.