The Detroit Lions might have to get creative to fill their needs this offseason, and one of the biggest needs the team might have could be at cornerback.
This past season, the Lions suffered from a lack of depth at the position, but help could exist on the market if Detroit wants to strike a trade for a game-changing player at the position in Jalen Ramsey.
After a frustrating 2022-23 season, the Los Angeles Rams will have to ponder retooling their roster. As explained in an ESPN insider piece by Jeremy Fowler discussing some offseason predictions with league executives, the Rams could be looking to deal a few players. Ramsey’s name came up as a potential
“[Ramsey] is one I think the Rams will at least explore [moving],” one AFC personnel director said. “He’s still a top guy, but the play has fallen off a little bit and [he] could use a change of scenery.” Ramsey, 28, was the NFL’s No. 1 corner for two consecutive seasons in our summer executive polls. He would have a market,” Fowler wrote in the piece.
That market, naturally, could include cornerback-needy Detroit. The Lions lack an impact player at the position, and while Ramsey’s contract is certainly prohibitive at $25 million, there are ways for teams to work around that. Los Angeles could absorb salary, or the Lions could restructure the deal on their side.
There’s also the interesting connection that Brad Holmes has hooked up on deals with his former team in Los Angeles, too. Not only did Holmes strike the blockbuster Mattehw Stafford for Jared Goff swap, he added Michael Brockers from the Rams as well. Holmes and Les Snead seem to have a comfortable deal relationship, and the former was around when Ramsey was traded to Los Angeles in the first place.
Many have projected the Lions to be aggressive on the trade market this offseason, and if that is the case, Ramsey might be a bigger move they consider. This could be a name for fans to keep on their radar this offseason.
How Ramsey Could Fit Lions’ Defense
No matter where you look, the Lions defense had some major problems during the 2022 season, and most of them stemmed from their ability to put a stop to big plays.
The Lions finished 32nd in total defense this past season, and struggled against both the run and the pass. Against the run, they finished 29th with a total of 2,491 yards allowed and 22 touchdowns.
In the secondary, these problems seemed to be the greatest most of the year. As a result, cornerback could be on the menu for the Lions early and often due to the fact that the team finished 30th in the league in pass defense, allowing 4,179 yards through the air.
Any available veteran cornerbacks that fit the scheme are sure to attract interest from the team as a result of this, both in free agency and via trade. The team is also figured to scour a deep draft class as well for more young talent.
More than veteran corners, though, the Lions could benefit from a true superstar at the position. At 28 years old, Ramsey has a few solid years left and could help the Lions as they push into their contention window. He could help a young defense not only with leadership, but elite play.
To that end, depending on cost, this type of deal could be a win for a Lions team that is looking to make the next step toward becoming a serious NFC contender.
Ramsey’s Career Stats & Highlights
There’s little doubting the fact that Ramsey is one of the truthfully elite players at the position, and that’s true given both his accomplishments as well as his statistics.
Ramsey came into the NFL in 2016 as a first round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Florida State. He wasted little time making an impact, as he was a first-team All-Pro in 2017, while cracking every Pro Bowl from 2017 to 2021.
A deal sent him to Los Angeles in 2019, and he quickly helped the Rams achieve some desired postseason success. Ramsey helped the Rams claim Super Bowl 56 in 2022, and was also a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2021.
Statistically, Ramsey has been a big play waiting to happen in the league, and he has collected 452 tackles, 19 interceptions, seven forced fumbles and 92 passes defended in his career.
If the Lions had the chance to add an elite veteran like Ramsey, it could go a long way for a young defense they hope to improve in the near future. Ramsey has the kind of chops to help a team like Detroit get over the hump.