With the Detroit Lions season in the tank at 1-7, there could be a possible trade involving Calvin Jones. The prospect of the Lions trading their star receiver isn’t new, but it would be a way to avoid big money problems with future contract negotiations. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Patriots and Panthers may be two teams interested in making a deal.
The Lions are looking at a season of rebuilding next year. Unless there are major changes made and things turn around drastically, the playoffs are not in the cards for the 2015 season. The Lions just had a shake up with the firing of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. The problems didn’t end there. With a week of practice, the Lions organization was certain that the team would have a good showing in London. Instead, the Loins were dismantled by the Kansas City Chiefs 45-10.
But what would a trade of Megatron solve, other than avoiding a money issue? The trade deadline has come and gone. But have there been secretive meetings that will reveal something later in the week? Johnson is one of the main cogs in the Lions offense. Johnson helped the Lions go 11-5 last season. Why trade an offensive weapon when next year will be a pivotal year to rebound?
One plan would be for the Lions to send Johnson to the Panthers for a first and second round pick. A list of possible trade scenarios was put together by ESPN. That deal mentioned Johnson as being over 30-years-old and soon to be hard to shop. If the Panthers took him, the Lions would get draft position for better players and the Panthers would pick up the deep threat they need.
The Panthers would be the most logical choice to give Cam Newton the help he needs. The Panthers are 7-0 largely because of the spectacular defense put together by Sean McDermott. Newton has done a good job carrying the offense, but the Panthers need another downfield target besides Greg Olsen.
Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford have the highest combined cap charges in the NFL both this season ($38.3 million) and next season ($46.5 million), and it’s crippling the Lions’ ability to make other signings. That happened in March, with the departure of Ndamukong Suh.
The NFL Network sees Johnson in a better place with Carolina also. But when could it happen? The trade talk is interesting. But until there is serious talking and moves from those teams involved, it’s all speculation.
Johnson did miss practice leading to the rumors that he may be in negotiations with other teams. However, Johnson did leave the London game with an ankle injury. The Lions are on a bye week. Rushing him back to practice would make no sense. Why jeopardize the health and career of your star player?
The rumors are getting hotter but the fire may be getting doused before the flames turn into an inferno.
[Feature Photo by Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images]