NFL Trade Grades: Lions steal high-end CB in swap with Buccaneers

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

After the Detroit Lions made the NFC Championship Game this past year, many expected general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell to make a splash this offseason. One of the biggest areas in which that was expected was at cornerback, a glaring weakness for the club in their NFC title game run.

They've now addressed that courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they've traded for cornerback Carlton Davis, a second-round pick in the 2018 draft who is entering the final year of his contract. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero first reported the trade.

This is a trade that, based on everything we heard and knew coming into the 2024 offseason, makes a ton of sense for both sides. But who came out on top in the deal? Let's look at the full details of the trade before grading the trade for both sides.

Carlton Davis trade details: Lions send third-round pick to Bucs

Here's a look at the full trade for the Lions and Buccaneers that sends Carlton Davis to Detroit:

Davis DET-TB

In addition to Davis, the Lions recoup some draft capital with a pair of sixth-rounders, one in this year's draft and one in next year's as well. The Bucs get a third-round pick for all of this, giving a team that needs a bit of youth in the mix another Top 100 selection in the 2024 draft.

NFL Trade Grade for Buccaneers in Carlton Davis deal

In the immediate, losing Carlton Davis makes the Buccaneers defense a bit worse, that's true. At the same time, Davis was a bit up-and-down throughout his time with the organization that drafted him in the second round back in 2018 and did struggle with some injuries last year.

With the Bucs re-signing both Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans, it behooved the franchise to move Davis in the final year of his contract as, simply, re-signing the cornerback next offseason could've been difficult to financially make possible. So instead, they reset the clock a bit by getting a Top 100 pick in a deep 2024 draft class, which will conceivably give them another opportunity to simply replace Davis.

In any case, it's not a dramatic drop-off for the Bucs after this deal, and they get a nice Day 2 pick to show for their troubles while also freeing up financial flexibility this offseason and moving forward.

Buccaneers Grade: B+

NFL Trade Trade for Lions in Carlton Davis deal

This is an abject win for the Lions. Davis is due just $14.5 million in the final year of his contract, which the lack of a long-term security with the cornerback is the only reason we're not giving this trade even higher marks for Detroit.

But the Lions came into the 2024 offseason with a dire need in the secondary given the inconsistencies and, frankly, underperformance of that group last season. Davis hasn't been an elite player, but he's been more than good for quite a while with Tampa Bay. He's undoubtedly an upgrade for the Lions secondary and one that could pay huge dividends for a team that was in the NFC Championship despite their limitations in the secondary.

And to give up a third-round pick while getting back two Day 3 picks along with Davis only makes it a better deal for the Lions.

Lions Grade: A-

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