The Detroit Lions have been busy acquiring New England Patriots players Wednesday.
A short while after reportedly agreeing to a two-year, $8 million contract with Patriots free agent defensive lineman Danny Shelton, the Lions also have acquired veteran safety Duron Harmon via trade.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported the details of the Patriots-Lions trade.
This is a flip of late-round picks. https://t.co/aNNHwXfIgl— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020
The Patriots officially announced the trade Wednesday night.
The late-round draft pick the Patriots are getting from the Lions isn't the notable part of the trade from New England's perspective. The real benefit to this move is it frees up about $3.89 million in salary cap space, per @patscap on Twitter. This cap space can be used to acquire a free agent on the open market, or to re-sign one of the Patriots' own free agents. The team hopes to re-sign star left guard Joe Thuney, was franchised tagged Monday, to a long-term contract. This additional cap space makes that goal with Thuney a little easier to accomplish.
Harmon was a valuable safety in New England for the last seven seasons. He played in 111 of 112 regular season games over that span, while tallying 175 total tackles, three fumble recoveries, 17 interceptions and 28 passes defensed. The 29-year-old safety has one more year left on his contract with a $5.5 million cap hit, per Spotrac.
He will bring plenty of talent, depth, playoff experience and leadership to the Lions' defense. Harmon also will reunite with former Patriots defensive coordinator and current Lions head coach Matt Patricia.
UPDATE (Thursday, March 19, 8:20 a.m. ET): The Patriots will get Detroit's fifth-rounder in 2020 for Harmon and New England's seventh-rounder, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.