Blockbuster Proposed Trade Ships Lions Projected $82 Million CB

Dan Campbell Patrick Surtain II

Getty Bleacher Report's David Kenyon proposed head coach Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions trading for Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

The Detroit Lions possess an obvious hole on their roster at cornerback. Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon recommended the Lions addressing that void with a blockbuster trade for Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

Kenyon proposed the Lions trade the No. 29 overall selection, their 2025 first-round pick and a 2025 fourth-rounder for Surtain.

“If he’s not already the NFL’s best cornerback, Patrick Surtain II isn’t far removed from that label,” Kenyon wrote. “A first-team AP All-Pro selection in 2022, he’s easily the most talented player on the Denver Broncos.

“Given that reality, the idea of trading him might seem ridiculous. But as Denver leans into a rebuild, its financial situation is miserable—and that’s before the looming departure of quarterback Russell Wilson wrecks the books even further in 2024.

“Surtain would probably cost no less than two first-round picks. But if the Lions are ready to chase a Super Bowl, he’d be a championship-worthy splash at their largest position of need.”

Surtain made first-team All-Pro during the 2022 season. He also earned Pro Bowl nominations each of the past two seasons.

In 2023, Surtain recorded 69 combined tackles, 12 pass defenses, and 1 interception.

Surtain has one year remaining on his rookie deal and a potential fifth-year option. Spotrac projected Surtain to be worth $82.3 million for his next contract.

What Patrick Surtain II Would Bring to Lions

The fit with Surtain in Detroit is rather obvious.

The Lions ended the 2023 season ranked 27th in passing yards allowed and 29th in yards allowed per pass attempt. They also yielded 28 passing touchdowns, which was 27th in the NFL.

But the Lions have a chance to completely revamp their cornerback room this offseason. Free-agent signing Cameron Sutton and 2023 second-round pick Brian Branch are under contract. But fellow cornerbacks Kindle Vildor, Jerry Jacobs and Emmanuel Moseley will be unrestricted free agents in March.

Pundits have linked the Lions to many first-round cornerback options in the 2024 draft class. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox proposed the Lions trading up in the first round to land one of the top prospects at the position.

The Lions have also been connected to potential free agent cornerbacks such as Ronald Darby.

Trading for Surtain would cost a lot more, but it could be a significant first step for the Lions turning their biggest weakness into a potential strength.

Pro Football Focus ranked Surtain the second-best cornerback who played at least 220 defensive snaps during the 2022 season. He posted the second-best coverage grade among all cornerbacks.

Coverage is where the Lions cornerbacks struggled the most in the 2023 season. Detroit also allowed 934 passing yards in the playoffs.

Surtain didn’t repeat those strong grades in 2023, but he was still superior to the Lions cornerbacks according to PFF. He is also only 23 years old.

Would the Lions Prefer Surtain over a Rookie CB?

An argument can be made for the Lions to either go all-in and trade for Surtain (assuming he’s available) or draft the best available cornerback in the first round of 2024.

Targeting a rookie, particularly at No. 29, has risk. Surtain is already an established star that could help a contending team immediately.

But acquiring Surtain means losing another first-round pick and other draft capital.

Picking up Surtain’s fifth-year option would keep him on the Lions roster through 2025. But to sign him beyond that, the Lions would need to commit more than $20 million per season to the cornerback.

The Lions drafting a rookie cornerback could mean initial growing pains in 2024. But it’s a much cheaper option.

Detroit possesses $48 million in cap space. But extensions for quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and offensive tackle Penei Sewell will be due in the next couple years. The Lions will have to also eventually pay defensive linemen Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill.

It wouldn’t be shocking if the Lions prefer a cheaper long-term cornerback option than Surtain.

Whether the Lions entertain the possibility of adding Surtain really comes down to whether the team wants to go all-in in 2024.

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