Detroit Lions get help for pass rush, trade conditional draft pick for DE Everson Griffen

Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
·2 min read

Buoyed by back-to-back wins that have them in the wildcard hunt, the Detroit Lions made a trade Tuesday to bolster their pass rush.

The Lions traded a conditional sixth-round draft pick to the Dallas Cowboys for defensive end Everson Griffen.

Griffen won't be eligible to play until the Lions' Nov. 8 game against his old team, the Minnesota Vikings, because of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols.

He must be bubbled with his new team and pass five consecutive COVID tests before he's allowed to take part in team activities.

Because of those restrictions, some around the NFL are treating this week as the NFL's unofficial trade deadline. The actual deadline is Nov. 3.

"I don’t know if I can really predict anything that’s going to happen going forward," Lions coach Matt Patricia said Monday when asked if his team was looking to add to its roster. "I know that for us, we’re always going to try to do whatever we can to help our team get better. Sometimes those situations, in particular trades, it takes both parties and everybody involved. So I don’t know. We’ll see how all that goes, but right now it’s just focused on really turning the page to be ready for (this week's game against the Indianapolis Colts)."

Griffen, one of the NFL's most feared pass rushers in his prime, had 74.5 sacks in 10 seasons with the Vikings and has 2.5 in seven games with the Cowboys this year.

The Lions evened their record at 3-3 with a late-game comeback against the Atlanta Falcons last week and play just one team with a record above .500 - the Colts - between now and the end of November.

The Lions have struggled to get consistent pressure on quarterbacks in their two-plus seasons under Patricia, but have done a better job in recent weeks with their pressure packages.

Romeo Okwara has a team-high four sacks and has forced fumbles each of the last two weeks, but the Lions have just eight sacks in six games this season.

Griffen likely will play as a situational pass rusher, alongside or behind Okwara and starting right end Trey Flowers.

The Lions have used Danny Shelton, Nick Williams and rookie John Penisini heavily on run downs the last two weeks.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions trade draft pick to Dallas Cowboys for Everson Griffen