The Detroit Lions, for the 64th time in 65 tries, will finish this year without a playoff win. This, of course, is no surprise to anyone bound to the laws of reality no matter how hyped-up people got for HBO's Hard Knocks. Those holding out to any form of hope for the final half of the season had that vaporized by news from Adam Schefter that the Lions are trading T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings. Once again, we stand at the crossroads, look around, and wonder just what the hell is going on?
Because dealing Hockenson, a former first-round pick, for future picks signals a continued rebuild. At 1-6 and listless, it feels like the only viable route. It also seems to portend some trouble for Dan Campbell, who was supposed to have this thing moving in the right direction by now. Just how long is his leash? Does he get another season? Two more? Because it certainly doesn't seem like they'll be any good next season.
So through that lens, parting with Hockenson makes sense. Even if it helps a division rival. Let's be clear: the Vikings getting slightly better is not among the top 20 concerns the Lions have. It's a bridge to cross when the time comes. It stinks having another lottery pick turn into a bust but Hockenson wasn't going to be in Detroit long-term. If an in-division team offers the most attractive package, it's the one that should be accepted.
Most Lions fans, or at least the ones not too embarrassed to admit they root for this team, seem to hate this move based on the knee-jerk poll. But I'll zag. Let's embrace the full-on rebuild. The talent is not in-house right now. There's no need to be stubborn. Turning this thing around might take a bit longer than people expected but hey, what's a few extra years when things have always been this bleak?