Instead of making big splashes outside of the family, the Detroit Lions have instead chosen to focus on comfortable re-signings that make sense for both the player and the team, but they could have made at least one mistake with that thinking.
While the Lions brought back players with a solid NFL track record such as safety Tracy Walker, linebacker Alex Anzalone, wide receiver Josh Reynolds and edge rusher Charles Harris, their move to bring back wideout Kalif Raymond was seen as more of a swing and a miss by the front office, at least according to Bleacher Report.
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The site and writer Maurice Moton took a look at breaking down one move that every team could come to regret this offseason, and for the Lions, Moton believes it was rewarding Raymond with a new deal given he believes he is essentially a special teams player. Moton’s point is that Raymond will probably not come close to replicating his 2021 production with a new lineup in place.
As Moton wrote, “the Lions could’ve invested their money elsewhere rather than bring back a receiver who will likely have a minimal role.”
Clearly, with the move, the Lions showed they don’t agree with this line of thinking and wanted to keep Raymond around. A big reason for this could be his work as a punt returner and the immediate chemistry he will bring with Jared Goff in what figures to be a big offseason of change.
Raymond Fits Lions New Culture Well
This signing seemed to go beyond just production for Raymond. Not only does he fit in with his team’s play on offense given his ability to show explosion and get off at wide receiver, but he’s a quality person as well, and he fits what the team is looking to do from a culture standpoint perfectly which is another likely reason he stayed.
Speaking after joining the team, Raymond discussed the impact that family has on him. As he admitted, he likes to have his family close by so it keeps him focused and grounded while he is playing in the league.
“Kalif Raymond on why it’s important to have his family at every game: “It brings my why and my work ethic back into reality. The game is so big – people in the stands, media, teammates, fears and doubts. But I can take a step back and be like, “My mom’s here. My people are here,” Raymond said as tweeted by Burke.
That quote shows the type of person the Lions want to build around. Down to earth, grounded players who understand what it means to be a professional. Raymond is a leader by example, and those are the kind of players you like to have around the locker room to show the young guys the way.
Raymond will continue to show off a good attitude with the team and also continue to set a good example for teammates young and old. That’s why his signing was a brilliant one for the team’s culture overall, and why his addition should not be slept on overall.
Raymond’s Career Stats & Highlights
The Lions added an intriguing player to the mix in Raymond last offseason as someone who can impact the game multiple ways. Raymond hadn’t had a major impact on the offense given his 369 yards and 19 career receptions prior to last year. Raymond did have 1,549 yards in the return game, and though he was an undrafted free agent out of Holy Cross in 2016, he played with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Giants and then Titans once again before signing with Detroit
from the start, it always figured that Raymond would figure to get his first crack at the receiving job, and given the fact that he has shown 4.3 speed as well as explosion as a deep threat, the chances of him making an impact seemed great for the team in year one with the Lions, and he was able to make it happen on the field with 576 yards and 4 touchdowns to his credit.
Here’s a look at some of his best plays last year:
Raymond has managed to bring big plays and speed consistently, which helped the Lions in a big way last year. While some aren’t sure it will benefit the team long-term, it was always clear they were going to try and make it work.