The Detroit Lions have a big choice to make with Kenny Golladay coming up soon, and whether or not the wide receiver sticks around is becoming a huge focal point for the future of the team.
After making the decision on Matthew Stafford, the Lions will have to determine what happens with Golladay next. In the coming days, there will be a franchise tag deadline that the team will need to remember. But what happens if the team doesn’t use the tag and Golladay simply heads to free agency?
That’s something which is more than possible according to ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky. Recently, Orlovsky was asked on Twitter what he thinks will happen with Golladay, and as he said, he sees the big-bodied wideout moving on from the Lions in a spot where he has a veteran quarterback to throw him the ball.
The fact is, if the Lions use the franchise tag, Golladay will have no choice but to play for the team during the 2021 season. He could hold out, but recent comments as well as Golladay’s own character seem to diminish the chances of that playing out. He’s a free agent, but only if the Lions elect to let him leave. It seems more likely that the team would try to work some financial magic in the weeks ahead in order to keep Golladay around.
Regardless, the man who called Stafford’s departure now thinks that Golladay moves on too. Will he be right? Next month will have all the answers.
Dan Campbell Likes Kenny Golladay
Perhaps another reason Golladay may not look to move on himself? The team’s boss. New Lions coach Dan Campbell has broken his silence on the In a piece with Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Campbell is quoted as saying that he would like to see both of the players come back, and has already touched base with them.
Campbell said to Rogers:
“Yeah, I would say, first of all, I’ve talked to both of them,” Campbell told the Detroit News on Saturday, before the Stafford trade agreement was reached. “Brad and I are both going to sit down and we’re going to call those guys together, as one, and just kind of talk through things with them. I would say, man, I’m interested. You know, first and foremost, I want guys that want to be here. I want to make sure first that’s something they really want, they want to be back here and they want to be part of something special. That, to me, is step number one.
“Then step two is, well, does it fit us?,” Campbell said. “Where are they at financially? Where are we at? What does it mean? What does that do to us moving forward? All those things come into play, but I would say there’s not a closed door on either one of those guys.”
Bringing both back would be in the best interest of the Lions if the team could manage it financially. There’s no question the talent that both bring to the offense as well as the defense, and they will be playing at two of the neediest spots on the entire team.
Free agency will be a complicated process, but at this point, it sounds as if the Lions could be just as interested in keeping their two of their key stars. That could prevent Golladay from getting away when all is said and done.
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. Will he stick around as a result? It’s possible, even if it’s not being predicted by everyone.