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Getty Ja'Marr Chase before a LSU title game in 2020.

The Detroit Lions secured a top 10 draft selection with their miserable finish last season, and now that they are preparing for the offseason, thoughts turn to what the team will need to do in order to improve in a big way next season.

Already, there figures to be some huge changes on the horizon for the Lions, and the biggest might be on the offensive side of the ball.

A new quarterback will come to the team in Jared Goff, and some new weapons could be on tap for Goff to throw to when he gets to the Motor City.

Detroit’s been figured to potentially be interested in selecting a wideout, but what if they traded up for arguably the best one in the 2021 NFL Draft? That’s just what an analyst wants to see the team do in order to kick-start potentially one of the next great offenses in the league.

Recently, Bleacher Report and writer Maurice Moton put together a piece which detailed some of the moves that should be made to create the next great offenses in the league. For the Lions, the move was simple. Trade up from pick seven to pick five in the draft in order to grab Ja’Marr Chase for the offense.

Moton wrote:

“In order to compete with the Packers’ top-scoring offense, the Lions will need more firepower. They could move up to acquire one of the top two wide receivers in the draft class.

While the move seems bold, Detroit could pair LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase with Kenny Golladay, who’s prepared to accept the franchise tag, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

“Being honest, I’d rather get a deal done,” Golladay said. “But if the franchise tag would come, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. So yeah, for sure I want to get a long-term deal done.”

The Lions should target the No. 5 spot because the Cincinnati Bengals could consider Chase even though wide receiver isn’t one of their top needs. ESPN’s Ben Baby discussed the possibility of an LSU reunion between quarterback Joe Burrow and Chase if the front office addresses the offensive line in free agency.

Nonetheless, Cincinnati may take a cost-effective approach with a depressed salary cap. Secondly, Trent Williams is arguably the best impending free-agent tackle, and the San Francisco 49ers could re-sign him.

In this trade scenario, the Bengals could slide down two slots and still potentially land Oregon’s Penei Sewell if they don’t address the position during free agency. Picking at No. 6, the Philadelphia Eagles already have their starting tackles in Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson.

With Golladay possibly having to prove he’s worth a long-term deal on the franchise tag, he and Chase could wreak havoc on pass defenses across the league. The latter opted out of the 2020 campaign, but he had a spectacular 2019 season, hauling in 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Toss in Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson and dual-threat running back D’Andre Swift, who will line up in the slot, and you have an explosive young offense primed to score a lot of points.”

Within the deal, Moton has the Lions dealing the seventh pick as well as a third-round draft selection to facilitate the move. That’s not a high cost given Detroit just added another third-round selection in the trade for Goff, but given Detroit wants to grab assets, it would be interesting to see how much they value a high pick such as this.

The Lions could have the makings of an elite offense if they were to add Chase or even another wide receiver high in the draft this year. Making a trade for one via a draft move would certainly be interesting.

Ja’Marr Chase Stats

While Chase didn’t play this past season on the field, he has been no less successful statistically through the years playing with LSU. In just a pair of seasons played in the SEC with the Tigers, Chase put up a solid 2,093 yards and 23 touchdowns. He flashed his big-play potential with Joe Burrow before he departed for the NFL, and is a potentially elite talent getting ready to make his transition to the next level.

Chase has size and speed and many consider him to be one of the best wideouts set to make the transition to the league this coming season. That’s the reason someone like Detroit could have to trade up to secure him if they decide he is the best player in the class at the position.

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Likelihood of Lions Draft Day Trade Strong

The Lions feel likely to move around on draft day. This offseason, the team has said they wish to build through the NFL Draft, and doing that will likely take an array of picks. The Lions don’t have many, so trading back for a team desperately hunting a quarterback could actually be the better option for the team rather than trading up, but this would be a modest move for the Lions to make if they decided to roll the dice and do it.

Wideout figures to be one of the deepest spots in he draft this year, but a talent like Chase doesn’t come along often. Would Detroit make this move? There’s a few more months to go for the team to ponder it.

READ NEXT: Top Free Agents Lions Must Re-Sign

News Source: Heavy.com

Tags: football nfl breaking news 5 fast facts crime politics shopping transition the franchise tag a long term deal to be one draft selection do in order be interesting detroit could wide receiver figures to be the offensive given detroit for the lions for the team the position in the draft third round in order the detroit the detroit through free agency

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Highways that destroyed Black neighborhoods are crumbling. Some want to undo that legacy

(CNN)Njeri Camara, 61, can't visit the Shreveport, Louisiana home where she was born. Like many Black homes and neighborhoods across the country in the 1960s, it was bulldozed to clear space for highways.

Camara says her parents moved when she was a baby to another Shreveport neighborhood, Allendale, where she still lives. But now her current home is at risk of being bulldozed so that a second highway, Interstate 49, can connect directly through the city. The Shreveport leaders who want to trade Camara's home for a highway are embracing a Dwight Eisenhower-era belief in the almighty good of the Interstate Highway System. The sentiment lingers even decades after the underbelly of urban highways became clear: pollution, noise, racism, displacement and congestion. For critics, Eisenhower's highways were a stake driven through the heart of healthy cities.
    A Google Street view of Shreveport, LA downtown area abruptly ending where it meets the highway.Now many of these urban highways are crumbling, and a groundswell has emerged in cities nationwide to tear them down. There are 30 local, citizen-led campaigns to convince officials to remove highways, according to Ben Crowther, who leads the "highways to boulevards" program at the Congress for New Urbanism, a think tank devoted to walkable urban environments. A Senate bill introduced last year called for $10 billion to be spent on urban highway removals. Even Detroit, perhaps the most car-dominated US city, is considering removing a stretch of highway."Now more than ever, in the age of covid, people are rethinking how streets and the infrastructure around them serves the people who live in cities," Crowther told CNN Business. Read MoreActivists see highway removal projects as playing a role in racial justice, and making some sort of amends for families displaced decades ago, like Camara's. US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is among those who have spoken out on the history of Black neighborhoods being disproportionately divided by highway projects, and has called for righting those wrongs. But experts say replacing urban highways with boulevards offer no guarantee of racial justice, and risks making things worse. Rising land values can trigger gentrification, damaging communities of color that already suffered when the highways were first built. "We need to think about not just 'let's get to a boulevard,' but some moment of restorative justice for the folks that suffered, as well as some preservation and prevention for the folks who are still there," said Calvin Gladney, CEO of Smart Growth America, a community development organization.The neighborhood that was Detroit resident Kenneth Cox, 87, can remember hearing a young Aretha Franklin singing at her father's New Bethel Baptist Church located in the neighborhood of Black Bottom. He recalled to CNN Business how he'd frequent the neighborhood's indoor skating rink, and loved the vanilla ice cream at Barthwell's, a chain of drug stores."It was a black business mecca," recalls Cox of Black Bottom, whose Gotham Hotel, a ritzy destination, attracted stars like Louie Armstrong and Duke Ellington. But as the Interstate Highway System was mapped out, Black Bottom was in its crosshairs.There were no Black people on the Detroit city council at the time, according to Jamon Jordan, a Detroit historian. The city's five-member housing commission had a single Black member, who soon resigned in protest, according to Jordan.Black Bottom was bulldozed in the 1960s to make way for Interstate 375. Fast forward to today, and Detroit and the state of Michigan are planning to tear down Interstate 375 and convert it to a boulevard. But for many Detroiters, the project has nothing to do with making amends for the past.PG Watkins, who leads Black Bottom Archives, which chronicles Detroit's history, says some residents welcome the removal to get the neighborhood thriving again, and others who feel the project isn't being done for Black Detroit, but white residents who may move in."A lot of folks are like 'We just need to be honest about why this is actually happening,' " Watkins said. Mary Sheffield, the Detroit council member who represents neighborhoods near I-375, described the project to CNN Business as an effort by planners "to attract a different segment of society who in recent history have not been residents of the city." Stephanie Chang, a Michigan state senator who surveyed residents in largely Black neighborhoods near I-375, found that most do not want the highway removed. A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation, which is leading the project, told CNN Business that the project isn't about gentrification, but mobility."It's taking a 60-year old freeway with outdated interchanges, deteriorated bridges and pavement, and finding an appropriate solution which considers safety, operations and improved connectivity for all users," said spokesman Rob Morosi.The department is working with the Detroit city government, he added, which has programs and policies to address rising property values.A spokesman for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, asked about any steps to make sure the I-375 project benefits nearby Black residents who may be at risk of gentrification, suggested that the project is not such a case."The proposed 375 project doesn't involve the displacement of any people -- it involves potential displacement of a commuter freeway by a surface road," the mayor's spokesman, John Roach, said in an email. "I'm not aware of potential commuter inconvenience being a recognized form of gentrification."But Michigan's Transportation Department has said that property values and rents may increase in residential areas adjacent to I-375, indicating the project may trigger gentrification. The spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the department's findings.Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg listens during his confirmation hearing earlier this year. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)Gentrification seems to be on Buttigieg's radar, but how he will address it is unclear."There has been a legacy of misguided investments and missed opportunities in federal transportation policies that reinforce racial and economic inequality," Buttigieg said in a statement to CNN Business. "We must take care that these mistakes are not repeated in projects now underway."Buttigieg declined to detail specific steps that he recommended be taken to prevent further damage to communities already negatively impacted by highways. He also wouldn't say if he would intervene and halt the I-49 project in Shreveport, which awaits the federal government's approval. But he said that projects in the pipeline are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the department can intervene to address communities' concerns. Jordan, the Detroit historian, finds that when he gives tours or lectures, few people know the history of Black Bottom and Detroit's Black businesses and institutions. He's used to hearing from people who've heard that "Black people messed up the city," he said -- a belief that the city was great when Henry Ford was in Detroit, and that things were great until Blacks took over the city.
      He has called for the government to reach out to Black businesses damaged when the neighborhood was destroyed more than 60 years ago, so they can be among the beneficiaries of the redevelopment. And Jordan added that a historical marker and a community center should be built in the new neighborhood to educate people about Black Bottom. "There has to be some kind of recognition of what happened," Jordan said. "There has to be some coming to grips with this story."

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