Detroit Lions Make Subtle Trade As Training Camp Nears

Ross Maghielse@@MaghielseCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2009

PITTSBURGH - 2006:  Orien Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2006 NFL headshot at photo day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Getty Images)

With training camp set to begin shortly, the Detroit Lions have made another trade.

The Lions sent newly-acquired wide receiver Ronald Curry to the St. Louis Rams for defensive end Orien Harris.

Curry was signed this offseason to contribute on special teams and in the slot position for Detroit's offense. However, his services became unneeded once the Lions traded for Dennis Northcutt on July 1.

The move serves a dual purpose for Detroit. Harris (26) is a promising young talent and will provide some much needed depth on the defensive line. Furthermore, Curry's departure opens up another receiver position that will generate intense competition during training camp and the preseason.

Keary Colbert, John Standeford, and Eric Fowler are among those who will look to draw Coach Jim Schwartz's attention with their pass-catching ability. All three were in camp with Detroit last season, and both Colbert and Standeford appeared in regular season games.

Harris, on the other hand—barring an outright horrible performance or injury—will have a roster spot locked up with the Lions. General manager Martin Mayhew wouldn't have made this move if he didn't consider defensive end as a position in need of improvement.

Harris appeared in 14 games with Cincinnati last season, but his production was limited. He managed just 14 tackles and no sacks.

Yet, potential can't be overlooked; the Lions are hoping the former Miami Hurricane will develop into a fierce pass rusher—something previous Detroit prospects Kalimba Edwards and James Hall failed to do.

This was the fifth trade Mayhew has made since taking control of personnel decisions midway through last season. Although not enough time has passed to judge his decisions accurately, Mayhew has certainly showed an ever-wandering eye for seeking improvement.

Detroit will take 86 players into training camp. That number will need to be trimmed to 53 before the regular season starts Sept. 10.