To this point, the biggest decision the Detroit Lions had to make this offseason was deciding whether or not to keep wide receiver Kenny Gollaaday.
Golladay was not franchise tagged by Detroit, nor was he signed to a contract extension. The reasons were plentiful in the minds of fans, but according to Brad Holmes, the choice was simple in the end. This season, the NFL Draft is deep at wideout, and it made sense for the Lions to move on from Golladay so that they could get their guy in the mix for the future at the position.
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Speaking with reporters, Holmes was asked about the Golladay decision and provided a very telling answer in the form of the draft and depth.
On Golladay, Holmes said Golladay is a really talented receiver, but suggests one of the factors in the decision was the depth of this draft class. Said it was both a short- and long-term decision for the Lions.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) March 29, 2021
Detroit probably didn’t want Golladay to eat up such a major chunk of their salary cap either this season, so their move to move on likely had a large part to do with that as well. As a whole, it’s a good time for a change in scenery for Golladay, and also a good time for the Lions to hit the reset button at the position.
Though the move was likely frustrating for some fans, it makes sense when in the context with the words of Holmes. Golladay got his desired money from the New York Giants, and the Lions got their fresh start. To that end, everybody wins.
Golladay Decision Tough for Lions
Detroit had a very tough choice to make with regards to Golladay, who’s been a home-grown talent that put up 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns thus far in his career coming into the 2021 season on the field after being a third-round pick in 2017. Golladay looks like an obvious top dog in Detroit for the foreseeable future no matter who is playing quarterback and a clear home grown talent. He proved that to be the case in 2020 itself with 338 yards and 2 scores in spite of missing most of the season with nagging injuries. Instead of keeping Golladay, the Lions elected to cut bait with the productive wideout thanks to the depth the team will see in the draft and also free agency. It was a tough choice given all Golladay meant to the franchise and what he has done on the field lately. He’s been a big play waiting to happen the last few seasons, so it was likely tough for the Lions to let him walk even though they will have options for the position moving forward.
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Lions Working on Wideout Depth
The Lions came into the offseason in an unsure position in terms of their wide receiver depth, but during free agency, have taken some steps to make some decent upgrades to the position. Detroit signed wideouts Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman to short-term deals in free agency, and with the addition of Damion Ratley and Kalif Raymond, could be in good position to ensure that they have depth ahead of the NFL Draft, where the team is expected to be active hunting for wideout talent for the future.
Detroit’s 2021 draft will be very active in terms of wideout, and more additions could come there, perhaps even early. Though Golladay was a major talent, it seems this tipped the scales in the end for the Lions in terms of making the key decision for the franchise.
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