Detroit Lions: Kenny Golladay is about to break the bank

July 20th, 2020 in Lions By Bob Heyrman

Last season, Detroit Lions receiver Kenny Golladay emerged as a legit number one NFL pass-catcher.

It’s incredible to think Detroit Lions receiver Kenny Golladay led the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns during the 2019 season, having played in just eight games with Matthew Stafford under center.  Over Golladay’s first two NFL seasons, he combined for a total of eight touchdowns.  In the newly appointed offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s aggressive downfield passing attack, Golladay blossomed.

In Golladay’s first eight games of the season, while having Stafford delivering the football on-time, the talented receiver produced four 100-yard or better games, catching multiple touchdowns twice and totaling eight receiving touchdowns over that eight-game span.  Golladay rewarded the Lions with an astounding 18.3 yards per reception last season.  Kenny corralled 65 balls totaling 1,190 yards to go with those league-leading 11 touchdowns.

During the second half of the season, after Stafford had been shut-down due to a lingering broken back injury that’s hampered the franchise quarterback over the last two seasons, things became much more difficult for Golladay.  With the likes of Jeff Driskel and David Blough as the teams’ signal callers, Golladay recorded four touchdowns and produced just one 100-yard plus week.

Golladay is entering a contract year, and if the Detroit Lions choose to wait until the conclusion of the season to extend their top receiver, they are playing with fire.

According to Pro Football Focus, Golladay is projected to accumulate the third-most receiving yards this upcoming season totaling 1,405 yards.  After leading the league in receiving touchdowns, this type of production makes Golladay an elite NFL wide receiver.  He will be commanding around $20-million per season, similar to the contract Amari Cooper just signed with Dallas.  Let the record show; I’d take Golladay over Cooper any day of the week.  Other top earners at the same position are; Mike Evans $16.5-million, and Odell Beckham Jr averaging $18-million per season.

The Detroit Lions should get Golladay locked up now, as they currently have the cap space to get it done.  Signing him to an extension beyond this season will happen, and the longer general manager Bob Quinn waits, we risk the overall price increasing.

The assortment of Detroit Lions receivers returning for the 2020 season;

The Lions return a trio of Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola, who are all entering the final year of their current agreement.  Jones’ name continues to resurface in trade talks, but it appears the Lions are planning on making a run at the NFC North Division Title with the stellar group of pass-catchers before openly moving Jones in a trade.  If the Lions are in the playoff mix leading up to the trade deadline, I’d expect the organization to ride out the season with Jones and risk losing him for nothing to free agency.

It’s unlikely the Lions will be able to retain Jones beyond this season.  This, in all likelihood, will be the final year of Danny Amendola in Detroit as the gritty receiver is soon to be 35-years old.  The Detroit Lions drafted Quintez Cephus in the 2020 draft, and he will compete with veteran free-agent acquisition Geronimo Allison, second-year man Travis Fulgham, along with deep-play threat Marvin Hall.

It’s a very talented group of receivers, and with a healthy Stafford, it’s a combination that should be considered the strength of the offense.