Lions Turn Heads With Trade for Super Bowl Winning CB

March 11 may have been the first day to negotiation with unrestricted free agents. But the Detroit Lions used the trade route to improve their roster with veteran cornerback Carlton Davis.

Lions Acquire Carlton Davis: Why Detroit Acquired Buccaneers CB, Contract Details, and More

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Lions acquired Davis from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Lions will also receive a 2024 sixth-round pick and 2025 sixth-rounder in exchange for a 2024 third-round choice.

A former second-round pick, Davis played six seasons for the Buccaneers. During 2023, he recorded 52 combined tackles with 9 pass defenses and 2 interceptions in 12 games.

Davis’ best statistical season came in 2020 when the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. That season, Davis posted a career-high 68 combined tackles and 4 interceptions with 18 pass defenses in 14 starts.

The reaction on social media to the Lions trading for Davis was generally positive on March 11.

“Big move for the Lions,” wrote FaDDe on X (formerly Twitter).

NFL pundits agreed that Davis is a quality addition to the Lions roster. The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy raved about Davis’ ability in man-to-man coverage.

“No TDs allowed in man,” wrote Pouncy.

Lions Trade Third-Round Pick for CB Carlton Davis

Detroit entered NFL free agency with an obvious need at cornerback.

The Lions were 27th in passing yards allowed per game and 29th in net yards yielded per pass attempt in 2023. Furthermore, veteran cornerbacks Kindle Vildor, Khalil Dorsey and Jerry Jacobs were all set to leave in NFL free agency.

While Detroit did bring back Emmanuel Moseley on another 1-year deal, the Lions needed more depth and another starting candidate at cornerback.

They landed that with Davis.

He will bring 75 games of NFL starting experience to Detroit. Since the Buccaneers selected Davis in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, he has started at least 10 games every season. There’s only been one game in his career where Davis dressed and didn’t start, and that was during his rookie season.

Pelissero reported the pick the Lions are sending to the Buccaneers was No. 92 overall. The Lions also hold the No. 73 overall selection in the third round from the Minnesota Vikings.

So, despite the trade, the Lions will still have three picks in the top 73 selections this year.

Davis will arrive in Detroit with one year remaining on his contract. Spotrac reported he will have a $14.35 million cap hit for the 2024 season.

In 76 career contests, Davis has posted 324 combined tackles, including 12 tackles for loss. He has also registered 73 pass defenses and 9 interceptions.

Social Media Reacts to Lions Acquiring Davis

Initial reactions from a lot of NFL fans was that Davis was a significant add for the team.

“WOAHHHH much needed CB help for Detroit,” wrote Max Loeb with multiple eye emojis.

“Lions making moves,” wrote Richard Vagner.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wasn’t as impressed, but he still considered adding Davis a positive move for the Lions.

“Davis has been inconsistent of late, but still flashes top-end ability,” wrote Breer.

Others were disappointed that the Lions weren’t trading for Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

“Not Sneed,” wrote Gianni.

“He’s not Sneed,” wrote’s Ben Raven. “But this is a nice add for a CB-needy team like the Lions.”

The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner was high on the deal because it not only improved Detroit’s secondary, but it didn’t hinder any potential draft plans the team has for April.

“Lions trading for Carlton Davis shouldn’t exclude Detroit from the CB draft market (Lions need a lot of help there) — but it gives them even more flexibility at the top,” wrote Baumgardner.

Lions trading for Carlton Davis shouldn’t exclude Detroit from the CB draft market (Lions need a lot of help there) — but it gives them even more flexibility at the top.

Might also give insight into Brad Holmes’ thoughts on CB depth.

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