D.J. Reader(Grimsley HS) to join Emmanuel Moseley(Dudley HS) and Hendon Hooker(Dudley HS) at the Detroit Lions/Keenan Allen(Northern Guilford HS) leaving LA Chargers for Chicgao Bears

D.J. Reader(Grimsley High School) agrees to two-year, $27.25M contract with Lions

from Kevin Patra at Around the NFL

The Detroit Lions have beefed up their interior defensive line in free agency.

Veteran defensive tackle D.J. Reader has agreed to terms on a two-year, $27.25 million contract with the Lions, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported on Thursday, per sources informed of the pact. The deal includes over $9 million guaranteed.

Reader visited Detroit on Thursday partly to get a medical checkup on his torn quad, which ended his season in Week 15. It marked the second torn quad Reader has dealt with in his eight-year career. The Lions were comfortable in his progress from the quad repair, Garafolo reported.

A fifth-round pick by Houston in 2016, Reader spent the past four years in Cincinnati anchoring Lou Anarumo’s defense. The 6-foot-3, 335-pound DT swallows blocks and moves linemen at will.

As stout as they come on the interior, Reader rarely gives an inch and completely nullifies gaps. While he’s not a penetrator, the veteran pushes the pocket and frees up lanes for teammates. Much of what Reader excels at doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. Just ask Anarumo.

“D.J. is a hard guy to replace,” Anarumo told Cincinnati reporters last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, via Cincinnati Bengals Talk. “Hopefully, we don’t have to, but he’s such a great locker room guy to start with and then just what he does inside, in the interior of the defense, he just controls blocks. It’s a lot of things that people don’t see. You can’t look at D.J. Reader in that position and say let me look at his numbers. Even though he has good numbers for the position, he is just dominant when it comes to taking on blocks, taking on double teams, and not getting moved. And that allows other people to make plays, and when you don’t have that, it creates other issues.”

In his eight seasons, Reader has generated 9.5 sacks, 44 QB hits, 277 tackles and 23 TFLs.

Detroit needed to upgrade the defensive line this offseason and netted a big fish in Reader. The 30-year-old pairs perfectly with Alim McNeill, a penetrator who could opportunities blossom playing next to the veteran. If both Reader and McNeil can stay healthy, the Lions’ defensive interior just got loads better.

Chargers trade WR Keenan Allen(Northern Guilford High School) to Bears for fourth-round pick
from Daniel Popper, Adam Jahns, Kevin Fishbain, Randy Mueller and Dianna Russini at The Athletic

The Los Angeles Chargers traded receiver Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick (No. 110), the teams announced Thursday.

The Chargers approached Allen about taking a pay cut on his $23.1 million combined base salary and roster bonus, according to a league source, and Allen refused. Edge rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack agreed to restructured contracts, according to league sources. Per NFL Network, Bosa agreed to a $7 million pay cut, and Mack agreed to a $4.25 million pay cut. They are both returning. Allen is not.

Allen is coming off perhaps the best season of his NFL career. He set a franchise record with 108 receptions. His 1,243 receiving yards were his most since 2017, and he reached that total in just 13 games. Allen missed the final four games of 2023 with a heel injury.

Trading Allen will clear an additional $23.1 million in cap space for the Chargers, according to Over the Cap.

“What Keenan Allen has meant to the Chargers for more than a decade cannot adequately be expressed through mere words,” Chargers president of football operations John Spanos said in a statement. “Keenan’s impact lives in the hearts of our fans, in the communities which he has served and amongst the countless teammates who have formed a brotherhood with him.

“There will only be one Keenan Allen, and we cannot thank him enough for the contributions he has made to our organization both on and off the field.”

For the Bears, this has been Ryan Poles’ M-O as general manager — the best way to acquire veteran blue chip players, the “multipliers,” is via trade, not free agency.

He struck out when he went for it with Chase Claypool but struck gold when he made sure DJ Moore was a part of last year’s No. 1 pick trade and then added a Pro Bowl edge rusher in Montez Sweat. This was not a deep receiver class in free agency. It is a loaded group in the draft, and the Bears could still take one at No. 9, as Allen is in the last year of his deal and will be 32 in April. But it also gives Poles flexibility to add to the O-line or defense in the top 10.

The Chargers have moved on from both of their top receivers. They released Mike Williams ahead of the new league year earlier this week, saving $20 million in space. The Chargers are positioned to take one of the premium receiver prospects with the No. 5 pick — Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers or Washington’s Rome Odunze — to pair with fourth-year receiver Joshua Palmer and 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnston, if that is the direction coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz want to go with the first pick of their new partnership.