Analyzing the Williams trade
The Lions were indeed working the phones heavily in the 24 hours before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline. They toed the water, liked how it felt, and preferred to deal Williams if at all possible.
But they weren't going to give him up for market rate (a first-round pick, in my outsider opinion) when they could move him next spring for the same price. To get this deal done the Lions needed more, and Dallas, desperate to make a move after being hard hit by injuries and suspensions, was eager enough to meet Mayhew's patient demands.
I think the Lions got the better of this deal. A first-, third- and sixth-round pick in exchange for a frustrated No. 2 receiver and a seventh-rounder is a no-brainer. Jones, no doubt, would see it differently. Williams, 26, is a very good talent who enhances the Cowboys' chances of winning the Super Bowl. He'll be a Cowboy and be happy in that role for a long time (he signed an extension within minutes of the trade), and Dallas had the draft picks to spare.
The key for the Lions now is to make the most of their draft picks. They'll likely have five of the first 100 choices next April (their own picks in Rounds 1-3 plus Dallas' first and third), but remember they were already operating in the red, short a 2009 fourth-rounder from maneuvering last April.
Still, this is a great deal for the Lions, who helped their ongoing rebuilding project at little present cost. They're a slightly worse football team today than they were last week, but with Williams and quarterback Jon Kitna gone -- Kitna's on injured reserve -- there's enough harmony to believe they might eventually win a game.