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Lions trade RB D'Andre Swift to Eagles after drafting Alabama's Jahmyr Gibbs in Round 1

With first-rounder Jahmyr Gibbs in Detroit, the Lions are shipping running back D'Andre Swift out of town.

The Lions are trading Swift and a seventh-round pick (No. 249) to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2025 fourth-round pick and pick No. 219 in the 2023 NFL Draft, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday, per sources informed of the situation.

Moving Swift seemed a formality after the Lions grabbed the dynamic Gibbs with the 12th overall selection on Thursday. With overlapping skillsets, Swift would have been an emergency third back behind newly signed David Montgomery and Gibbs.

Asked about Swift on Thursday night, general manager Brad Holmes telegraphed a potential trade.

"Yeah, I mean, D'Andre, he's still on our roster," Holmes said, via Colton Pouncey of The Athletic. "He's still part of our team. He's still under contract with us. He's a dynamic football player. So, [the Gibbs pick] hasn't really changed the math there yet, but, you know, it is early."

The GM sang a different tune on Saturday afternoon.

"It's my job to keep laser focus on the present, but probably even more importantly, keep laser focus on the future, and that's what went into a lot of the decision with having to make the trade with D'Andre Swift to Philly," Holmes said. "He was in the last year of his contract. If I could go back to last year, I felt really good about us being able to bring back Jamaal Williams. I felt confident [during] the season, and I felt good with our conversations with his camp, and it didn't happen. So you have to be prepared for all those things.

"We don't draft scared. We don't kinda play scared. The thing with Jahmyr Gibbs is that's the guy that we loved."

Swift, a former second-round pick by the previous Lions administration, owns compelling dual-threat ability but struggled to stay healthy during his three seasons in Detroit. Swift compiled 1,680 yards and 18 TDs on 364 carries with the Lions. He also added 1,198 receiving yards and seven additional scores on 156 catches.

It was clear the Lions' new brass, led by Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, wasn't enamored with Swift, who has home-run ability but too often attempted to break big plays instead of taking the yards available. He also missed at least three games in each of his three seasons in Detroit, where he didn't seem to be viewed as a workhorse.

Adding Montgomery and Gibbs this offseason signaled Swift's time in Detroit was growing short. It didn't last past Day 3 of the draft. A seventh-round pick swap and a future fourth-rounder isn't a great return for a former second-rounder, but the fact that Holmes got anything of value for a player squeezed out of the rotation is a positive, at this point.

"At the end of the day," Holmes explained, "him being able to go back to his hometown on a really, really good team that was just in the Super Bowl, I think it was a win-win for all parties involved."

The 24-year-old back enters the final year of his rookie contract set to earn $1.774 million in base salary.

Swift heads to the defending NFC East champs, who are replacing Miles Sanders (who signed with the Carolina Panthers). GM Howie Roseman adds another cheap option to the backfield with explosive upside if everything clicks. The Eagles added oft-injured former first-round pick Rashaad Penny on a one-year, $1.35 million deal this offseason. The Eagles also have slasher Kenneth Gainwell, veteran Boston Scott, former Niners third-rounder Trey Sermon and undrafted Kennedy Brooks.

Roseman's plan appears to be to accumulate former high picks with a good pedigree who have had trouble staying healthy. The home-run upside is there behind a great offensive line for Penny or Swift to realize their potential in 2023. At the very least, operating in a committee in Philly could help keep everyone healthier during the long season.

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