The 2019 NFL trade deadline is less than two weeks away and names such as Melvin Gordon, A.J. Green, and Von Miller have been circulating through media outlets as players who could find new homes. However, there is one man whose buzz has risen him amongst the top of that list.
And the Detroit Lions should make an aggressive attempt to acquire him.
That man is All-Pro defensive back, Patrick Peterson.
Peterson, who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals, returned to his team Monday. He started the season serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. While on suspension, the eight-time Pro Bowler found himself the subject of numerous trade rumors. This should come as no surprise to some. Last October, he requested a trade from the Cardinals.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has also reported that several teams have inquired to the Cardinals about the availability of Peterson.
What Peterson Could Bring to Detroit?
If the Lions were able to swing a trade for Peterson, it could (and should) provide immediate help to a team that is ranked 28th against the pass this season. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 280 yards per game against the Lions secondary, with 301 per game at Ford Field. Last season, Peterson had 54 tackles, five pass deflections, and two interceptions, earning him a trip to his eighth straight Pro Bowl.
Swinging a trade for Peterson could instantly give the Lions one of the more feared secondaries in the league. For starters, they already have defensive back Darius Slay, and he’s coming off his second straight Pro Bowl. In 15 games last season, Slay had 43 tackles, 17 pass deflections, and three interceptions, with one being a pick-six. He currently has 13 tackles, three pass deflections, and one interception this season.
The Lions also signed Justin Coleman to a four-year, $36 million deal this past off-season. Coleman is playing like a top-tier nickel back in the league this season, garnering national recognition. In five games, he has tallied 16 tackles, nine pass deflections, one interception, and one forced fumble.
Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia is still looking to establish a team identity in his second year. The team’s playoff hopes are also in jeopardy following losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers. Adding Peterson could give the Lions the potential jolt needed to jumpstart Patricia’s defense. It would also give Patricia another talented playmaker who could help their special teams if needed.
How Likely Is It?
If you take Cardinals GM Steve Keim words are at face value, don’t hold your breath. Keim told KMVP, 98.7 FM in Phoenix that they are not entertaining the idea of trading Peterson. “I don’t know why the questions persist because I have addressed it multiple times: We are not trading Patrick Peterson,” said Keim. “Our stance has simply been: ‘Why trade a player in his prime at one of the hardest positions to find for a maybe or a couple [of] maybes?’ Love what Pat brings to the locker room, love what he brings to the field.
“Those positions are impossible to find: left tackles, quarterbacks, corners. There’s no doubt, in my opinion, he is the best in the National Football League and will remain a Cardinal.”
Keim could also pull a Shahid Khan.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan stated on October 2nd that they weren’t trading Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey requested a trade from the Jaguars after a spat with Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone.
“Obviously, football is a team sport and I’m sensitive to what individual insight or viewpoint or requests (there) might be,” Khan said. ”But we have to do the right thing for the team. We value the values Jalen adds to us, to the Jaguars. I think we value him highly. We’re still looking at what is the right thing for the Jaguars, and I think right now the best thing is to have him be part of the team.”
13 days later, the Jaguars traded Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams.
While there has been no indication that the Lions are looking at swinging a deal for Peterson, addressing their pass defense (28th) and their rush defense (27th) before the deadline is a must.
The NFL trade deadline is October 29th at 3 p.m. CT