When Twitter exploded with the news that the Lions had traded a late 2011 draft pick to the Seahawks for 2008 first-round DE Lawrence Jackson, I slapped my forehead. Of course, it never fails; I wait for the wheeling and dealing to stop so I can summarize and analyze the changes from an intelligent big-picture perspective, and the instant the post goes up the Lions pull off a trade.
“Lo-Jack,” as he’s been called since his days at USC, stands at 6’-4”, and goes 271 pounds—precisely the same stature of the man he replaced, Jason Hunter. Jackson, as he put it, was the only guy between 260 pounds and 280 pounds on the Seahawks roster; he was a misfit there, but is prototypical here. I’ve written several times before that this exact phenomenon—scooping up talented young players cut down for not fitting The Scheme—seems to be a specialty of Martin Mayhew’s. Again, the Lions profit.
If you want to know what Seattle fans thought of Lo-Jack, what they think of the trade, and what his future prospects are, Phil Zaroo pointed out an excellent post by the Seahawks blog Field Gulls, “The Slow Exit of Lawrence Jackson”:
Detroit wins this trade because the Lions have bought low on a still very good, very young and very volatile talent. Detroit wins because Jackson still has much better potential than a mid- to late-round draft pick. Detroit wins because Seattle had schemed Jackson out of its defense and had to either sell low or burn a roster spot on a misfit.Besides the gradual, inexplicable Sehawkening of the Lions’ roster, this spells doom for longtime Lions end Jared DeVries—one of only two pre-Millen Lions left on the roster. When DeVries was re-signed, much of the money was tied to the condition that he make the final 53—a hedge against both injury and lost performance. It looks as though that hedge was wise, as DeVries’ knee has been keeping him out of practice—and having only Turk McBride and Willie Young behind Avril and Vanden Bosch would not have inspired confidence.
I won't engrave DeVries' epitaph, not yet--but I'm polishing the granite.