Lions’ Top Special Teams Weapon Leaving in Free Agency: Report

Jamal Agnew

Getty Jamal Agnew reacts to a big play in 2019.

The Detroit Lions have received some decent results in the last few seasons from Jamal Agnew on special teams, but now, the team will be faced with the reality of having to replace one of their major weapons on the field.

Detroit seems poised to lose plenty of free agents in the coming days, and reports indicate they are now set to lose Agnew on a new deal to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The deal was reportedly reached early in the legal tampering window period on Monday.

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According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Jaguars have struck to bring Agnew into the mix.

The rumored deal? a three-year contract worth $21 million dollars with some incentives mixed in.

For Detroit, it’s tough to see Agnew go given what the team got out of him as a late draft pick, but now, the pressure will be on Detroit’s front office to find a suitable replacement on special teams for a player who often looked irreplaceable at times.

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Jamal Agnew Stats

The Lions uncovered a potential hidden gem when they found Agnew in the fifth-round of the draft in 2017. He quickly burst on the scene as an electric returner and in his career has managed to rack up 916 return yards in his career with three touchdowns. 2 of Agnew’s touchdowns came in his rookie season, when he was named an All-Pro special teams player. In 2019, the Lions managed to get a 100 yard kickoff return for a score from Agnew to help in defeating the Philadelphia Eagles on the road.

Agnew’s stats as a cornerback are much more limited given he hasn’t played much there through the years. In his career in the NFL, he has only defended a pass and has 28 combined tackles to his credit. Obviously, the Lions prefer to save Agnew for the special teams given his electrifying moves. This past season, they moved him to wideout and have gotten a 89 yard season from Agnew on 12 receptions at wideout. That is where the Jaguars could be looking to keep him in the future.

Agnew’s skills have translated no matter who is coaching him, so it will be interesting to see how an offensive genius like Urban Meyer decides to use his new player in the coming years.

How Lions Must Fill Special Teams Hole

As for the Lions, the team now has a gaping hole in the return game, and will likely have to look at a wideout or a different player in order to fill the void. It’s not a stretch to say Agnew was the team’s best return man, so somehow, Detroit is going to have to find a way to get someone to fill in. Perhaps the team looks to a speedy wideout with special teams experience in order to fill the void that will be left.

Either way, Agnew will now have a new home away from the Lions.

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