As the Detroit Lions continue to rebuild the roster this offseason, could wide receiver Marvin Jones be a casualty of the culture change in the Motor City?
Coming off a losing season, the Detroit Lions will now go about the business of making more changes to their coaching staff and roster to better build this Motown squad in a way Matt Patricia prefers. Despite the fact the first-year head coach has been under fire this season for his questionable methods, inexperience, and tardiness; Patricia’s championship pedigree has earned him a massive amount of gravitas.
And the fact Patricia was unable to produce a winning season in Detroit figures to only spur more changes within the staff and along the roster that former head coach Jim Caldwell put together and found success with.
In fact, those changes started during the season. The most notable being the trade that sent the team’s top wide receiver, Golden Tate, to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The midseason move essentially promoted Kenny Golladay as the team’s top receiver, leapfrogging Marvin Jones in the pecking order. Golladay has been targeted a team-high 119 times this season. While Jones has only received 62 targets, which is seven less than Tate who played just seven games for the Lions before being traded.
Now Jones was limited to playing in just nine games himself this season due to a knee injury that landed him on Injured Reserve in late November. He posted just 35 receptions for 508 yards and five touchdowns in 2018.
With both Tate and Jones missing from the lineup, Detroit’s passing game struggled down the stretch, losing three of their four games in the month of December. So there is certainly a lack of depth at the receiver position that must be addressed this offseason.
But where does that leave Jones? Here’s what Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press had to say about his immediate future in the Motor City.
"“Wide receiver Marvin Jones is another player to watch this offseason … if the Lions intend to clear more Jim Caldwell guys out of the locker room, Jones is one of the few tradeable commodities they have (so long as they find a replacement receiver or two)”"
Marvin Jones will be 29-year old in 2019 and he’s scheduled to make $6.5 million for each of the next two seasons. With the rise of Golladay and some offseason additions, it seems very possible Detroit could opt to move on from Jones.