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O'HARA: Lions' early QB deal showed they're not afraid to set the market

The Detroit Lions were interested spectators in last Friday's flurry of trades that reshuffled the order of teams ahead of them in the first round of next month's draft and likely the players who'll be drafted.

However, it's not like the Lions were caught napping and missed a chance to get in on the action.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

The Lions were ahead of the game in an offseason when quarterbacks are dominating the draft and player movement by veterans.

The Lions got the quarterback carousel moving on Jan. 30 when they agreed with the Los Angeles Rams on a quarterback exchange that sent Matthew Stafford to the Rams for Jared Goff and three draft picks.

The Lions got a third-round pick in this year's draft and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.

The Lions also sent a message that they are open early and late to do business.

"We definitely wanted to make sure everybody knows that we are aggressive," General manager Brad Holmes said in a Zoom interview Monday.

"We're not afraid to test the market and set it early. It wasn't just that. That's just one of the things that came about from it. It spoke a lot of volumes in just unprecedented question marks at that position.

"We weren't scared to come out first and set the market."

Other prominent quarterbacks have been on the move. The Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Colts. Free agency sent Ryan Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins to Washington to be the starter and Andy Dalton from Dallas to Chicago to be the starter.

Last Friday's two trades involved three teams. First, the 49ers traded with the Dolphins to move up from the 12th pick to the third. The Dolphins made a second deal with the Eagles to move up to No. 6 with the Eagles going down to 12.

The Lions were not involved in the deals made Friday, but Holmes indicated there had been some level of discussions previously.

"Obviously, I had discussions with other teams but I can't say just on Friday that my phone was blowing up," Holmes said.

Holmes has said often that all options have to be open when a team is drafting in the top 10, and last week's trades did not change that.

"It's the same set of guys that are still in there," he said. "When you're picking in the top 10, you have to know all of the players that are deserving of that high of a selection.

"It doesn't change the approach in terms of the players we've been discussing, that may be there or may not be there."

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