Lions Advised to Trade for 8-Time Pro Bowl LB as ‘Perfect’ Fit for Defense

The Detroit Lions made some significant strides in bolstering a defense that just a few seasons ago was among the league’s worst, but had a lingering weak point in the pass rush last season.

Chargers' Khalil Mack stands out as bright spot in bleak season – Orange  County Register

The Lions did find a budding star in edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, who has racked up 21 total sacks since joining the team as a first-round pick in 2022. But beyond Hutchinson’s contributions, the Lions have struggled to establish a consistent pass rush.

A new report suggests that the Lions could target a veteran pass rusher this offseason, swinging a trade for eight-time Pro Bowler Khalil Mack as an affordable addition.

Lions Could Go Bargain Hunting

Andrew Harbaugh of USA Today’s Lions Wire compiled a list of potential trade targets for the Lions this offseason, noting that Mack could be on the more affordable side for Detroit.

“The cheapest trade target of this entire list may be Khalil Mack, which happens to make him the best value,” Harbaugh wrote. “Mack has shown he has plenty of gas in the tank left and his veteran presence would be perfect on the defensive line opposite Aidan Hutchison.”

Macking is coming off a season where he registered a career-best 17 sacks to go along with 74 total tackles, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl.

Others agree that Mack could be a good target for the Lions. Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus also saw him as a good addition to a team that fell just short of the Super Bowl after its defense blew a 17-point lead to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.

Spielberger noted that Mack is in the final season of a six-year, $141 million deal that he originally signed with the Chicago Bears.

“That interest comes at a price in this league, however, and Mack’s 2024 salary is exorbitant for a 33-year-old edge defender, even one coming off as strong a season as Mack’s 2023 campaign,” Spielberger wrote.

But that means that the Lions could land Mack without having to part with too many assets, Spielberger added.

“The challenge for Los Angeles will be convincing teams they are trading for the 2023 version of Mack and not what is more likely a player whose median expectation should fall somewhere between his past two seasons,” he wrote.

Lions Could Make ‘Splashy’ Signing

With the NFL salary cap making an unexpected jump to $255.4 million, well above expectations, some insiders believe the Lions will look to make a big addition through free agency.’s Vito Chirco noted that general manager Brad Holmes stuck to mostly smaller and one-year deals through his first three offseasons, but could be ready for a more impactful signing this year.

“With the Lions falling a win shy of the Super Bowl in 2023, my early prediction is that Holmes will be bolder and make that ‘splash’ type of free-agent signing this offseason,” Chirco wrote.

Chirco added that he was unsure exactly who that could be, but pointed to another edge rusher as a logical target.

“But, at this present juncture, I’ll put my money on it being longtime Vikings EDGE Danielle Hunter. Hunter, who was rumored to be a target of the Lions at this past season’s trade deadline, would provide a major boost to Detroit’s pass-rushing unit. He’s amassed a combined 26.5 sacks the past two seasons, including a career-best 16.5 in 2023.”

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