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Lions expected to place franchise tag on Kenny Golladay in offseason?

Sportsnaut logo Sportsnaut 5 days ago Matt Johnson, Sportsnaut
a baseball player wearing a blue shirt: It appears Kenny Golladay will return to Detroit one way or another. © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports It appears Kenny Golladay will return to Detroit one way or another.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been one of the NFL’s best, young wide receivers when healthy. Set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Golladay is poised to be one of the best talents available in 2021.

Golladay, a third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, will have a chance to cash in this offseason with a lucrative contract. With so many NFL teams looking for star talent at wide receiver, the Lions will face a crucial decision this offseason.

It’s been another lost season for the Detroit Lions. Entering Week 11, they are quickly falling out of the playoff hunt and seem destined for a top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Plenty of changes will come this offseason, including at wide receiver.

ESPN’s Dave Birkett said he expects Detroit will place the franchise tag on Golladay. Even if Detroit cleans house, firing head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, the Lions will likely keep their Pro Bowl receiver.

Keeping Golladay, even on the one-year franchise tag, should be an easy decision for the Lions. He just turned 27 on Nov. 3 and the 6-foot-4 receiver is a go-to weapon for Matthew Stafford, routinely making big plays.

Amid another difficult year for Detroit, Golladay has also been dealing with some frustrating issues. He missed the start of the regular season with a hamstring injury, returning on Sept. 27. Across his next four games, he racked up 338 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Unfortunately, he suffered a hip injury on Nov. 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. Golladay left the game immediately, and his Week 11 absence marks his fifth game missed this season.

The Lions don’t have to go back very far to see the impact he can make. Golladay set career-highs in receiving yards (1,190) and yards per catch (18.3) in 2019, even with Stafford missing half the season. Golladay also led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (11).

Across his past 34 starts, Golladay is averaging 72 receiving yards per game. Over that span, he has 155 receptions for 2,591 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. Just as impressive, per Pro Football Focus, Stafford has a 119.0 quarterback rating when targeting Golladay.

According to Over The Cap’s projections, the franchise tag for receivers will be around $16 million next season.

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