Writer Predicts Next Lions Player to Receive Contract Extension

Kenny Golladay

Getty Kenny Golladay celebrates a touchdown against the Chargers.

The Detroit Lions have a decision to make as it relates to a few contract extensions on the horizon this offseason, and one might be more pressing than the other in the mind of one analyst.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press was asked in a recent mailbag segment who he sees getting the next extension the team figures to dole out. Will it be offensive lineman Taylor Decker or wide receiver Kenny Golladay? Both are in need and each could figure to be deserving parties.

According to Birkett, the answer is Golladay due to how the franchise tag might work within each market. It could make sense for the Lions to wrap up a deal with Golladay no matter

Birkett wrote:

“Still, business must be done, and the Lions can’t afford to let both players reach free agency next season (when they’ll have only one franchise tag to work with). If I had to guess, I’d say Golladay is the more likely of the two to strike a deal.

Golladay has been playing on third-round money for the balance of his career, while Decker will have made $21 million after this season is done. He can afford to be more choosey with the contract he signs. Furthermore, the tag number for a wide receiver will be higher than that of an offensive lineman (this year, the tag on a receiver was $17.865 million, vs. $14.781 million for an offensive tackle) and the Lions don’t have any of their top pass catchers (Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola) under contract for 2021.

If the Lions only do one extension, it makes sense Golladay gets it.”

Golladay has more than earned a new deal given what he’s done on the field of play after being drafted by the team a few years ago. He’s more than earned a new deal thanks to this work and he figures to get it in due time, possibly even later on this offseason.

Kenny Golladay’s 2019 Stats

From nearly the start of the season until the finish, Golladay had an excellent year catching the ball. So far, he’s put up 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s had some huge games last season, and four times Golladay has gone well over 100 yards in a game catching the ball for the Lions. His ball skills are a big reason why.

In total, Golladay has enjoyed arguably the best start to a career of any wideout in his 2017 draft class not named JuJu Smith-Schuster. With 2,730 yards and 19 touchdowns thus far in his career coming into the 2020 season on the field, Golladay looks like an obvious top dog in Detroit for the foreseeable future with Matthew Stafford tossing him the rock. That’s good news for the Lions, who have long pondered how to find production at the wideout position minus Calvin Johnson. Not an issue anymore with Golladay taking over.

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Detroit Lions, Taylor Decker Haven’t Talked Contract

One of the other cases the Lions will have to deal with involves offensive tackle Taylor Decker. Decker is coming to a critical point in his Detroit career where the team will have to decide whether to keep him around or move on after the early part of his rookie career.

As of now, there hasn’t been any talk regarding what the future might be for Decker with the team. As he explained to reporters speaking on a teleconference, Decker has been content to let things play out behind the scenes with his agents, especially in light of what’s going on in the world at the moment.

The Lions themselves haven’t had big talks with Decker, something he also confirmed when speaking to reporters.

At this point, it seems to be anyone’s guess if the team gets a deal done or wants to moving forward. Doing a deal with Golladay might be a bigger priority for the Lions moving forward this offseason. The Lions might be content to let things play out right now with Decker.

The analysts agree to that point.

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