WR Josh Reynolds Breaks Silence on Reason He Signed With Broncos

Josh Reynolds

Getty Denver Broncos wide receiver Josh Reynolds explained why he elected to leave the Detroit Lions in NFL free agency.

The Detroit Lions accomplished a lot during the NFL offseason, addressing most of their needs. One thing Detroit wasn’t able to do, though, was re-sign wide receiver Josh Reynolds.

The veteran wideout summarized why he elected to leave the Lions in his first media appearance at Denver Broncos OTAs on May 24.

“Business,” Reynolds said, via The Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson. “It’s a business, but you know, I think I’m at where I’m supposed to be at, and I’m excited.”

Reynolds added that he had “always admired” Broncos head coach Sean Payton “from afar.” The veteran receiver signed a two-year, $9 million contract with Denver this offseason.

He had spent the previous two and a half seasons with the Lions. In 2023, Reynolds was second among the team’s receivers with 40 catches, 608 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Lions Offered WR Josh Reynolds Below Market Value Contract: Report

The base value of Reynolds’ deal with the Broncos is $9 million, including $4.25 million guaranteed. However, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reported that Reynolds could earn up to an additional $5 million in incentives.

The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett reported the Lions didn’t offer the veteran receiver a comparable deal.

“The Lions were interested in re-signing Reynolds for 2024, with general manager Brad Holmes insisting Tuesday that Reynolds was their “Plan A” receiver in free agency, but were reluctant to spend on a player who likely would have opened next season as their No. 3 receiver,” wrote Birkett on March 27.

“They made a below-market contract offer at the start of free agency and maintained minimal contact with Reynolds’ camp in recent weeks.”

The Lions do have young receivers Jameson Williams and Donovan Peoples-Jones ready to take on bigger roles. Detroit also committed $10.5 million to depth receiver and punt returner Kalif Raymond last year.

Then this offseason, the Lions signed the team’s leading receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown, to a historic 4-year, $120.01 million extension.

With that amount of money already spent at receiver and the depth on the roster, the Lions apparently felt comfortable only trying to bring back Reynolds for less than market value.

How the Lions Will Replace Reynolds

Birkett didn’t specifically mention Williams, but he appeared to imply that even if Reynolds had returned, Williams would be Detroit’s No. 2 receiver in 2024.

His performance in OTAs support such a claim. Lions head coach Dan Campbell told the media on May 23 that Williams has been “a man on a mission” this offseason.

“Give me one player that is the most improved from start to finish in that time. Jamo [Williams] would be that guy right now,” Campbell said to the media. “He is a man on a mission, and I’m just gonna leave it at that. Alright? I’m gonna leave it at that.”

Williams has shown flashes of what Campbell was talking about at OTAs. He caught a 45-yard touchdown in Week 6 last year. Williams also had a 19-yard rushing touchdown during Week 13 and then a 42-yard score on the ground in the NFC championship game.

In 18 regular season games, Williams has averaged 15.8 yards per catch. But overall, he has posted just 25 catches for 395 receiving yards.

He’ll need to be much more involved for the Lions to not miss Reynolds. But Detroit appears confident Williams is ready for a bigger role.

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