The Detroit Lions have finished off an important contract extension this week, and might now start to angle toward another one in the days ahead.
Following the team getting a deal done with Taylor Decker, the focus will now shift to wideout Kenny Golladay. After Decker’s deal, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport admitted that the Lions could soon turn to negotiating with Golladay, even though the talks have not begun as of yet.
The #Lions wrapped up LT Taylor Decker’s extension yesterday, and I’m told talks may now begin with star WR Kenny Golladay. The two sides have not yet begun on Golladay, and no deal is imminent.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2020
All told, Golladay is the next big case the Lions have to solve, and Matt Patricia referred to the Decker deal as part of a “first wave” of deals for the team. Does that mean Golladay is next? It theoretically could, which would be excellent news for the Lions, who need to keep the offensive weapon around in a big way.
The Decker deal happened fast after the sides began to talk, so Golladay’s contract could get wrapped up quickly once the Lions sit down to the table and get serious. According to Rapoport, that could be happening soon.
Lions Beat Writer Predicts Deal With Kenny Golladay
Golladay needs to get his deal done, and many are wondering in the wake of the Decker extension if the team can wrap up Golladay on a new contract next. The answer, according to at least one analyst, is yes. Recently, Chris Burke of The Athletic was asked in the wake of the Decker deal if the Lions work an extension with Golladay before 2020 and he thinks they will.
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) September 1, 2020
As for the eventual deal, Burke wouldn’t be shocked if the numbers come in a lot like Decker’s in the end, somewhere around $85 million for the team’s game breaking wideout, unless they decide to go a bit higher designed to stay ahead of the looming wideout market.
Five years, $75-$80 million? That’s about where he lands in this market, unless they pay him for where WR contracts will be in a couple years, like they did Decker with the OTs.
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) September 2, 2020
As a whole, it would be good news for the Lions to get this extension done with Golladay no matter what the immediate cost. The Lions need Golladay in the fold, because he looks like a budding star
Kenny Golladay Wants Contract Finished
Thus far in his career, the wideout has been a budding star and has certainly earned the right to stick around in the Motor City on a new deal. Clearly, that’s something the wideout thinks he wants to do as well. Speaking with the media, Golladay said he is hopeful something can get done relatively soon.
Golladay largely punts on contract questions, but said he wants to be here and he's hopeful of something gets done before the season.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) August 17, 2020
“As of right now, I can only control what I can control. I want to be here. Really, I’m just going to let my agent and the front office take care of that. I’m pretty sure something will get done (before the season), hopefully.”
That’s a strong statement for Golladay to make, and while it’s down the middle to an extent, it’s clear that the wideout does want to stick around with the team that drafted him and get a deal done in the near future.
As for where the team’s at, mum remains the word from their perspective. When Bob Quinn spoke ahead of camp, he didn’t provide any updates as to where the Lions were progressing in terms of deals. It’s a safe bet to assume they’ve at least thought about an extension and talked about parameters, however. That is due to Golladay’s massive talent and the fact they recently managed to get the deal with Decker done.
Regardless, it’s nice to see the wideout talking about staying and wanting to stay.
Kenny Golladay’s New Contract Projection
Outside of projections from sites like Spotrac.com, there’s been little real insight on the structure of such a deal lately. Recently, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press caught up with Joel Corry, a CBS Sports cap analyst to ask him for a hint as to what a new Golladay deal would look like.
Corry’s answer? It’s going to be much bigger, but probably won’t re-set the market at wide receiver. Here’s a look at Corry’s conclusion from Birkett’ piece:
“Corry said Golladay’s final contract could end up in the $18 million-per-season range, which would slot him behind Jones, Cooper and Thomas among highest-paid receivers. The Lions gave defensive end Trey Flowers a five-year, $90 million deal in free agency last spring, with $50 million in practical guarantees, that could provide the structure for that type of deal.
As for any financial crunch the Lions could be facing from pandemic-related losses, Corry said that’s no excuse for the team to scrimp on a deal.
“Let’s put it this way, (giving Golladay a huge contract) will be less cumbersome than when they did Calvin Johnson’s deal on a flat cap (in 2012) and the cap went from $123.75 to $120.6 that year and they had a high-priced Ndamukong Suh on a rookie contract and a Matthew Stafford as well,” he said. “This situation isn’t that one. There are ways to work around that.”
Gollday has long been expected to be the next Lions wideout to get a deal done, and he is projected to have a monster season on the field for the team as part of a revved-up offensive attack. There is no question the Lions have to get a deal done and want to as well. A number like this likely wouldn’t give them much of a problem.
Around $18 million a season would seem to be a small price for the team to pay for Golladay’s emerging game breaking ability at wideout. In the end, that could be just what the Lions have to shell out in order to keep their star in the mix.
That type of deal could play out soon according to those in the know if the teams start to talk.