Normally teams don't like making big trades to cover up a need but the Washington Redskins may not have much choice. Injuries have devastated their defense. Should they call the Detroit Lions about Cliff Avril?
Loss of Brian Orakpo could haunt the Redskins for entire NFL season
Any time a team loses a star it's bad but when that star was one of the few good things about his unit, it can quickly become a catastrophe. The Redskins didn't have the strongest defense through the first two weeks of the NFL season, giving up 32 and 31 points. Part of their problem was finding a consistent pass rush. They hoped their leader, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo would carry the load. He nearly notched 10 sacks a year ago in just his third season and seemed ready for a much bigger year. That went out the window when he tore his left pectoral muscle. He suffered the same injury last season. Together with the loss of defensive end Adam Carriker Washington is in big trouble. Their rookie quarterback has kept them in games so far but as teams adjust to him the Redskins will need their defense to help. Not having Orakpo not only limits their pass rush but also their ability to confuse offenses. Whether their reserves can step up is the big question. If they can't though, should Washington consider finding help in the trade market?
Avril trade effect depends a ton on Mikel Leshoure
The Detroit Lions are at a crossroads with their roster. The 2012 season is probably the last anyone will see this particular defense under Gunther Cunningham. Half the defensive roster including Louis Delmas, Justin Durant and Chris Houston are all free agents next year. However the biggest name is by far Cliff Avril. Detroit used the franchise tag to keep him this season but if he repeats or tops his 11.5 sacks from a year ago they may not have the money to keep him long-term. That is why some think they could trade him before the deadline in week 8. Teams would love having a 25-year-old pass rusher on their roster. The problem is what the Lions trade for. Most know their historic struggle to find help at running back since Barry Sanders retired. They have spent all season looking for an answer including working out every free agents they could find. Whether they eye the trade market next depends on how their 2011 second-round pick Mikel Leshoure pans out. The young man from Illinois hasn't had the best start to his pro career, tearing his Achilles in training camp last season and then getting suspended for marijuana use this season. If he flops again the Lions may consider using Avril as bait to find a difference maker in the backfield.
The Washington Redskins gave up a lot for Robert Griffin III but it takes more than that to win in the NFL. Losing Brian Orakpo again could mean they seek help through trade again. Cliff Avril is young, healthy and possibly in his last months with the Detroit Lions. At a fair price a deal is surely possible.
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