The Lions were ready to trade running back D’Andre Swift this offseason but wanted to do so with a different NFC team.
The Lions essentially received a future fourth-rounder in return for Swift, a reasonable exchange considering Swift’s injury history and the declining value of the running back position.
Detroit can’t be too upset about the compensation, but apparently, the franchise didn’t want to trade with the Eagles in the first place.
Instead, during the draft, the Lions tried to strike a deal with the Los Angeles Rams that would have involved Swift. The Rams declined the opportunity, and Detroit presumably moved on to their next-choice trade partner in Philly.
Lions had interest in trading D’Andre Swift to Rams, not Eagles
It’s unclear what the Lions were asking the Rams for in a potential Swift trade. The upshot of it is that Sean McVay turned down the chance to upgrade at the ball-carrier position, and the Eagles ended up getting their Dawg to dominate on the ground.
The Lions sealed their own future when they drafted running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round, and Gibbs and free agent pick-up David Montgomery will anchor Detroit’s running back unit for 2023 and beyond.
Swift, who had some nice moments in Detroit last year as a pass-catching back and lethal end-zone threat, will join the reigning NFC champs as presumably the team’s workhorse back barring any injury setbacks. Behind Swift, the Eagles can boast a deep ball-carrying corps that consists of Kenneth Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, Boston Scott, and others.
From Swift’s perspective, he’s probably much happier about landing on the Eagles compared to the Rams. He’ll get to vie for a ring in his first season in Philly, as opposed to taking part in an offensive makeover over on the West Coast.
The Lions and Rams do have some recent history when it comes to big trades, so it makes sense as to why Detroit may have wanted to do business with a more familiar foe. It’s all water under the bridge for the Lions now as they shift their efforts to building off of last year’s success and competing in the NFC North.