Ronnie Brown: The Detroit Lions' Latest Square Peg?

Dean HoldenAnalyst IOctober 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 25:  Ronnie Brown #36 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against Marcus Benard #58 of the Cleveland Browns during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Only Martin Mayhew would pull off a trade like this.

Jerome Harrison, a backup running back for the Eagles in 2010, signed with the Lions around training camp, and earned a roster spot by edging out Aaron Brown.

And now Mayhew has effectively traded an Eagles' castoff back to them for a player who has been a starting-quality back for most of his career.

Ronnie Brown is an unknown quantity, and is far from a long-term answer for the Lions at running back. But the fact that the Eagles were willing to part with Brown for a third-string running back and a 2013 seventh-round draft pick means this was more about unloading a player than upgrading the team.

That's both good and bad. Brown coughed up a bad fumble against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, and hasn't touched the ball since. But he was a former second overall pick, and was once considered among the best running backs in football.

Is he still? Certainly not. He's a couple months from turning 30, still shows ball security as being an issue and hasn't really made a huge impact since his Pro Bowl year in 2008.

That's just how Mayhew likes them. Out-of-favor former first-round pick with a low price tag. Mayhew generally brings them in at a younger age, but I don't think Brown is done by any means, especially considering he split carries with Ricky Williams for a couple of years in Miami.

In other words, Brown has had just enough time to fall off the map and make sure he came cheap, but not enough for him to be completely out of gas. That's why Mayhew pulled the trigger and made him a Detroit Lion.

Jahvid Best suffering his second concussion of the season helped, too.

So will Brown single-handedly revive the Lions abysmal running game? Probably not. Is he a better option than Jerome Harrison? Absolutely.

Does he have the opportunity to hit it big as a comeback player with the Lions potent offense? Definitely, and that will just make him another one of Mayhew's "square pegs."

And that possibility, however slight, is well-worth the seventh-round pick cost it took to bring him in. Even if his impact is only minor.


UPDATE: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Ronnie Brown trade has been voided due to "undisclosed health issues" with Harrison. In other words, Harrison failed his physical and is thus still a Detroit Lion.

If you had any doubt about whether or not you liked this deal, gauge it on whether you're relieved or disappointed right now.