What if I told you the Detroit Lions have at least five realistic trade scenarios?
OK. You're right. They should probably be classified as somewhat realistic to keep it kosher, but it's the offseason. We need something to pass the time until teams start signing free agents and drafting rookies.
But nobody is here for a long-winded preamble. Let's get to the trades!
This seems way too perfect to happen in real life. It's something straight out of a movie script.
Or from a hack writer. But let's not jump down that wormhole.
We all know Ndamukong Suh is carrying a $22.4 million cap hit. An extension is likely, but that doesn't mean there aren't other options.
One such option is the Oakland Raiders. They have almost $61 million in cap space to play with and need a cornerstone player. A first-round and fifth-round pick doesn't seem like too much for one of the best defensive players in the league.
Obviously, any trade would require the defensive tackle to agree to an extension. Neither team would risk the consequences otherwise.
Every Lions fan's fantasy is Sammy Watkins. He's the total package and would be the perfect complement to Calvin Johnson.
But will he be there at the 10th pick? Unlikely.
So general manager Martin Mayhew would need to make a move to grab the apple of Detroit's eye. Luckily, there's a guideline for us to follow for speculation purposes.
The famed draft-pick value chart, sourced from ESPN.com, shows that Detroit would have to add 320 "value points" to their No. 10 pick to make the deal work. With just a bit of creativity, the Lions can get there by giving up the 74th overall pick this year and a 2015 fourth-rounder.
The future fourth-rounder would be the sticking point. If the Lions are the worst team in the league, Atlanta "wins" the deal by 32 points. If Detroit wins the Super Bowl (stifle your laughs), the Lions would win by 36.
A deal where everyone bears a little risk? Sounds like a winner.
Originally, this article as going to focus on five ideal trades for the Lions. It was altered to highlight realistic scenarios instead—based solely on this trade.
It's probably way too early to give up on Nick Fairley. He's flashed the talent in a few key spots (i.e., stopping Matt Forte to beat the Chicago Bears), but he hasn't been consistent enough to warrant any long-term deals.
The new coaching staff could prove to be a fork in the road. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin might dig deep to motivate the young defensive tackle or convince Mayhew that it's best to sell high.
If the latter situation comes to fruition, the Miami Dolphins would surely show some interest. Both defensive-tackle stalwarts Randy Starks and Paul Soliai are free agents and might be too expensive or too old to bring back.
It'd be nice if Detroit could get a first-rounder back. However, that might be a bit unrealistic for someone who hasn't taken a major step forward since entering the league.
The New York Giants aren't on a five-year plan. Eli Manning is 33 years old, so the window to win in New York won't be open for much longer.
You know who else is on the other side of their 20s? Offensive guard Rob Sims.
Granted, the Lions might not want to break up an offensive line that excelled in 2013. However, say the Lions target Baylor guard Cyril Richardson in a later round, they could the move Sims and shave just under $3.8 million off the cap.
And since the Giants are chasing one last championship in this scenario, improving an offensive line that ranked as the second-worst pass-protection unit in the league is vital.
That's what some in the business refer to as a "win-win."
Safety Louis Delmas was recently made a cap casualty, leaving a gaping hole in the back of Detroit's secondary. Some fans are clinging to the hope that the Lions bring him back on the cheap. They shouldn't be.
Instead, they should focus their prayers on Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. He has the physicality of Delmas and superior ball skills that can be utilized to create turnovers. What's not to like?
So what will it take for Detroit to ensure his services? It's too early to tell, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate that the Cougar's draft stock will rise to the top of the second round.
Thus, Mayhew will need to move up 12 spots to grab Delmas' replacement. To do so would cost this year's second- and fifth-rounders as well as next year's fourth-rounder. That doesn't sound too unreasonable for a league that depends so heavily on its safeties.