The Detroit Lions made a bold gamble in April 2023 by dealing away D’Andre Swift. Ultimately, that decision led to the team drafting Jahmyr Gibbs. But many wondered why the Lions would deal away a back with 18 career touchdowns in the Motor City.
General Manager Brad Holmes Offered Explanation of Why D’Andre Swift Was Traded
Lions general manager Brad Holmes was at the forefront of sending Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a seventh-rounder in the 2023 draft and a fourth-round pick in 2025. Philly also gained the 249th pick of the draft owned by Detroit.
Holmes addressed the logic behind the Swift move on the day after the trade, April 30.
“It’s my job to keep laser-focused on the present but, probably more importantly, keep a laser focus on the future,” Holmes began. “And that’s what went into a lot of this decision with having to make the trade with D’Andre Swift to Philly.”
Holmes reminded the Detroit media that Swift was in the final season of his rookie deal he signed in 2020.
“I think at the end of the day, him being able to go back to his hometown and on a really, really good team that was in the Super Bowl — I think it was a win-win for all parts,” Holmes said.
How Has Swift and the Lions Ground Game Fared Since Then?
Turns out both parties have benefitted from the move so far.
In Swift’s case, he’s posted back-to-back 100-yard games for the defending NFC champions. Against Minnesota, he went off for 175 yards. On Monday Night Football against the previously 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he tallied 130 yards and averaged 8.1 yards per carry.
The Lions have discovered a two-headed combination post-Swift and last season’s rushing touchdown leader Jamaal Williams — who also left the Lions via free agency to the New Orleans Saints.
David Montgomery has gained 141 yards through three games, averaging 3.8 yards per carry and two rushing touchdowns. Gibbs, meanwhile, has 139 yards and is racking up an average of 4.5 yards per carry.
The Lions are currently 11th in the league in rushing offense. The Eagles, with Swift, are the NFC’s best ground attack and rank second behind the league-leading Miami Dolphins in rushing yards.