The Detroit Lions have a decision to make when it comes to the short-term future of Kenny Golladay, and that decision will come to a head over the course of the next few weeks.
Like the rest of the NFL, the Lions are facing a deadline to use their franchise tag, and the player on the roster that could get the treatment in 2021 is Golladay himself, Detroit’s game-breaking wide receiver. Recently, Pro Football Focus took a look at the big decisions teams with franchise tags will be set to make, and writer Brad Spielberger made predictions about what is set to happen.
On Golladay, he wrote:
“Golladay missed the majority of the 2020 season while working hard to recover from a hip ailment, but he still shined in the four full games he battled through injury to play in. Golladay graded out at 85.7 in those four contests, and he put up 50 receiving yards and a touchdown or 100-plus receiving yards in each outing.
The Detroit Lions used the franchise tag on left tackle Taylor Decker prior to the 2020 season before ultimately reaching an agreement on a four-year, $59.65 million extension. Expect a similar situation this offseason with Golladay, especially considering new general manager Brad Holmes is still getting everything in order and assessing the team’s situation after the blockbuster Matthew Stafford–Jared Goff trade.”
It’s going to be important for the Lions to have Golladay in the fold theoretically, because the Lions will have their wideout group gutted this offseason. Finding enough cap room to make this move possible will be the next step, but it seems safe to say that it would be silly for the team to go into the offseason with so many gaping holes at wide receiver. Someone is going to have to catch the ball for the Lions next year, and Golladay should be a pick given what he’s done in the past for the team.
Lions Franchise Tag Deadline Approaching
The good news? Detroit has a few more weeks to make up their mind and decide what to do with Golladay. The period for franchise or transition tags from February 23 until March 9, just ahead of the start of the new league year. It seems almost certain that the Lions will approach this like they have been recommended to by Pro Football Focus, with Brad Holmes slapping the tag on Golladay, then working a deal out over the course of the 2021 season.
It’s impossible to know what Holmes is thinking, but having Golladay around to work with Jared Goff would seem to be the wisest course of action for the team at this point in time.
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Lions Front Office Will Determine Kenny Golladay’s Fate
With 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.
Even in spite of all of that, the Lions have plenty of things going on multiple fronts. Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes, Ray Agnew and John Dorsey are now in control of the direction of the team. Obviously, this means that Golladay’s future is firmly up in the air considering it will be hard to say what a new staff will think of handing out a big deal to a wideout, no matter how important Golladay might be. Holmes said the Lions want to retool and not rebuild, so keeping a guy like Golladay around could play into that, especially given the depth the Lions are slated to lose at wideout.
Golladay has maintained he wants to stay and seems to have good thoughts about Campbell. We’ll see if that translates to him staying on the franchise tag or not. The deadline for that decision is on the horizon in a few months time.