Lions Trade Rumors: Will Steelers Make Play for Linebacker?

Jarrad Davis

Getty Jarrad Davis after a 2018 game.

The Detroit Lions have endured what has been a frustrating season so far, and yet they’re still firmly in the playoff picture. That complicates their thinking at the 2020 NFL trade deadline, which is coming up in just a few weeks.

Detroit is likely to get calls from everywhere around the league on plenty of fronts, and one of the more interesting situations to watch could be what happens with linebacker Jarrad Davis. Davis hasn’t had the career many imagined in Detroit, and that could lead other needy teams to call such as the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A pair of Steelers beat writers from The Athletic placed Davis on a list of players who could make sense for the team in trade considering the Steelers just lost linebacker Devin Bush to a season ending knee injury this past weekend.

Why would a trade of Davis make sense for the Lions? For one, he hasn’t played a huge role for the team’s defense thus far this season and has looked to be the odd man out in the linebacker room since the beginning of 2020. That landed him status as a potential deadline deal before this possible move was alluded to.

It was supposed to be go time for Davis to turn around his fortunes on the defense, but now, he can barely see the field this season in Detroit. Davis hasn’t played a huge role for the Lions at all and given the offseason changes that were hyped with his body, that is a major disappointment.

It seemed like 2020 was a now or never type season for Davis, and he is looking closer to never at this point in time for the Lions. That could mean the Lions elect to take calls on Davis from linebacker needy teams like Pittsburgh during the trade deadline.

Jarrad Davis Stats

Davis joined the Lions in the 2017 first round out of Florida, and was mentioned as a player who could make a quick impact in the league. It hasn’t happened that way for Davis yet, considering he has 270 tackles and 10 sacks in his career. This season alone, Davis has just 15 tackles to his credit. Detroit’s trio of Jamie Collins, Christian Jones and Jahlani Tavai has a total of 62 combined, showing the more active role they’ve received within the defense.

Davis is a hard working player who is great in the locker room, so it will be fascinating to see if the Lions decide to keep him or move on.

Lions 2020 Trade Deadline Primer

Will the Lions elect to make a bigger move at the trade deadline or a smaller move? Will they be buyers or sellers? Could they be both? At this point, it’s hard to say what path they will take considering their record. Many folks have wondered if the Lions will indeed decide to become sellers in a big way and perhaps dangle Matthew Stafford. While a move of that magnitude seems very unlikely to be the case, the Lions could decide to sell off other veteran players from the roster as they have done during the team’s past 2 trade deadlines. In those years, the Lions moved on from names like wide receiver Golden Tate and safety Quandre Diggs. Detroit also has made modest additions under Bob Quinn, dealing for Damon Harrison in 2018, who did help the team’s defense down the stretch.

It will likely boil down to record and performance in 2020 the next few weeks. If the Lions make use of an advantageous schedule in the second half, they could get back in the playoff hunt and become buyers. If their season trends in the wrong direction, they could also become sellers. All of that will be sorted out soon.

A move on Davis could be interesting because it would allow the Lions to add a draft asset while also not subtracting a player they have utilized much this season. To that end, he is a big name to remember at the deadline, perhaps especially for those in Pittsburgh.

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