Roger Goodell could’ve added an extra sentence onto his announcement that the Detroit Lions selected Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 pick in the 2023 NFL draft. That the Lions were now shopping D’Andre Swift.
Before Gibbs put on the hat and strolled across the stage it felt like Swift was as good as gone. Rumors began swirling that his time in Detroit may be up before the draft concludes. And those rumors became true.
The Lions traded Swift to the Eagles for essentially a fourth-round pick in 2025. I can understand why they traded him. But I disagree that it should’ve been done.
The Lions are a contender to win the NFC. They currently have the fourth best odds behind the Eagles, 49ers and Cowboys. They also have the eighth best odds to win the Super Bowl. And were only recently jumped in that category after the Aaron Rodgers trade.
Point being they are a real threat to not only win the division but possibly more than that. They aren’t some hopeful squad that could possibly win a playoff game. The expectation is to win a playoff game.
And you just traded away a very talented running back for a fourth-round pick in two years. Not to mention you traded him to a team that you could very likely face in the playoffs.
He Doesn’t Miss That Many Games
Running back is a position you can’t have too many good players. Just because you drafted a rookie doesn’t mean you should get rid of a skilled player.
Swift averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season. That’s better than every other running back in the league outside of Khalil Herbert. He also averages 4.6 YPC for his career which puts him on par with Josh Jacobs, Alvin Kamara and Austin Ekeler.
We can criticize his toughness and make fun of his appearance on Hard Knocks but when the ball is in his hands he’s a pretty good player.
A lot gets said about how many games Swift has missed. He only missed three games last season. Four the year before that and three games the season prior.
Some of you act like the guy misses half the season all the time. If I told you Gibbs would be a top-12 running back but missed three games a year, you wouldn’t take that?
Tracy Walker misses a few games each year and I don’t hear many complaints about him. Dalvin Cook misses a handful of games each year yet if I dropped him on the Lions a few years ago I think most of you would be happy right?
Swift misses a couple games each year, this is football, a lot of guys do. He’s a good player. And trading away a talented guy for a fourth-round pick when I’m trying to win the NFC isn’t something I’m on board with.
If This Was Last Year…
If this was last year and the Lions were farther away with lower expectations I’d be more ok with getting something for a guy who you weren’t going to re-sign anyways. But at this stage the Lions are on the cusp of being a great team.
And you got a likely late fourth round pick back for him. Outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown can any of you name a fourth-round pick by the Lions in recent memory?
Derrick Barnes was a fourth-round pick two years ago and you basically just drafted a guy to help keep him off the field.
I know this is a weird spot for this generation of Lions fans to be in. You’re not used to being one of the favorites. I get it.
But the Lions didn’t need to trade Swift. And no matter how you want to rationalize it they are worse off this year for doing it.
If it means having a better team this year and losing Swift for nothing over having a fourth-round pick in two years. Give me a better team now.
For more from the author Jeramy Stover, check him out on Twitter here: @jstover96
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