Detroit Lions still buyers as trading deadline nears

HERTFORDSHIRE, England — The Detroit Lions are 1-6 and tied for the worst record in the NFL, but general manager Martin Mayhew said this morning that the team won’t take a build-for-the-future approach at next week’s trading deadline.

“We’re going to be probably more buyers than sellers and we’ve had some dialogue already about some guys around the league,” Mayhew said. “So we’re actively looking at those situations.”

Mayhew has been one of the most active traders at the deadline in his seven seasons as GM, making three deals for draft picks or players. But the Lions’ inclination to seek immediate help for their team this year comes at a curious time.

The Lions are extreme long shots to make the playoffs, with the Green Bay Packers undefeated atop the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings having already beaten them twice this year, and strong wild-card contenders residing in the NFC South and West. And the Lions quite possibly need an off-season overhaul to their aging roster.

But Mayhew, who sounded like a man fighting to keep his job in a half-hour morning session with beat reporters in town to cover Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs (9:30 a.m., Fox), said he will not consider moving receiver Calvin Johnson under any circumstances and said the decision to buy at the deadline is easily explainable.

“We’re trying to win some football games,” Mayhew said. “We need some quality players to help us win football games.”

Mayhew has made a few deadline deals since replacing Matt Millen early in the 2008 season.

He sent a fifth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for wide receiver Mike Thomas in 2012 and, a year earlier, traded Jerome Harrison to the Philadelphia Eagles for Ronnie Brown in a move that was voided when Harrison failed his physical. In 2008, Mayhew sent Roy Williams to the Dallas Cowboys for a package of draft picks that helped him secure the full-time GM job.

But Mayhew said the Lions are in a different situation than they were when the Williams trade happened. The Lions were 0-5 at that time, on their way to an 0-16 season.

“I wasn’t even GM at that point. It was a different situation,” Mayhew said.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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