The trade of Ernie Sims surprising in some regards, but expected in others. Sims wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz’s defense and struggled with injuries last year. The Lions weren’t going to bring him back after his rookie contract expired, so they wanted to deal him while they had the opportunity to.
The surprising aspect of the deal is the timing. I expected that if the Lions were going to move Sims it would have been during the draft. They would have a good idea if a certain linebacker would be on the board for them to draft. As it stands now, they traded away a starter and anybody that drafts behind the Lions that is looking for a linebacker may try to trade ahead of the Lions so they don’t lose their guy.
Martin Mayhew likes drafting in a shroud of secrecy, so it’s hard to imagine that he would open up a hole in the lineup right before the draft. Which means one of three things, either the Lions have somebody on the roster (Jordan Dizon or Zack Follett) that they are comfortable with, they will sign a free agent (Keith Bulluck makes the most sense despite his rehab from knee surgery) or the Lions are working on another trade.
The trade possibility is intriguing because the team that many thought the Lions could trade down with is shopping a linebacker (Rocky McIntosh). Before the Redskins traded for Donovan McNabb they were rumored to have a potential trade package in place to get a quarterback. The trade was assumed to be dead after the McNabb deal, but what if the Skins are still interested in coming up for a different position?
The Redskins desperately need a left tackle and they are trying to unload Albert Haynesworth, potentially opening a hole on the defensive line. What if they are trying to package Haynesworth, McIntosh and the 4th pick to move up to the 2nd to take Trent Williams, Russell Okung or Ndamukong Suh?
Mayhew has been very forceful in his declaration that the Lions have not decided on a pick or a position for the second pick. If the Skins believe the Lions are leaning towards a player the Redskins covet, they may be willing to deal up. The Skins have players the Lions could use and the trade would be very beneficial for the Lions. Not only do the Redskins have players that they want to trade that fit needs for the Lions, but the Lions could still end up with a player they would have taken withthe second pick available at the fourth.