Roy Williams trade looking better for Lions

Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout who operates the well-respected Move the Sticks Web site, offered this analysis of the Brandon Marshall trade via Twitter:

Big winner in the Marshall trade is the Lions...further evidence that the Cowboys gave up WAY too much for Roy Williams

You'll get no argument from me. Denver is being congratulated for extracting a pair of second-round draft choices from Miami for Marshall, and deservedly so. (Just three days ago, Pittsburgh settled for a fifth-round pick from the New York Jets for receiver Santonio Holmes.)

Using one version of the trade value chart, NFC West colleague Mike Sando computed the Broncos' bounty into the rough equivalent of the No. 28 overall pick in a draft. In other words, the Broncos got the value of a low first-round pick for Marshall.

As you might recall, Detroit got better than franchise-player value for Williams in the 2008 trade that sent him to Dallas. The Lions wound up with a first-round pick (No. 20 overall), along with additional selections in the third, sixth and seventh rounds.

You would be hard pressed to find an objective reason why Williams was worth more than Marshall. The only thing I can think of is Marshall's precious status under the NFL's personal conduct policy; one more mistake and he could face an indefinite suspension. On the field, Marshall clearly has outdistanced Williams' pre-trade production.

Williams played in 60 games for the Lions before the trade. Coincidentally, Marshall played in 61 for Denver. Over those near-identical time periods, Marshall had 327 receptions to Williams' 262. That's a difference of nearly one full catch per game.

I don't think it was any secret before Wednesday, but now it's more clear than ever: Lions general manager Martin Mayhew absolutely fleeced the Cowboys on this deal.