Bob Quinn and the Detroit Lions have an important contract decision to make with star wide receiver, Kenny Golladay. As important as their jobs.
The Detroit Lions are in the middle of an offseason where the fate of the front office is going to be decided by the record of the 2020 season. A key contributor of the 2019 season was Kenny Golladay, who is entering the last year of his rookie deal.
Today, we’ll look at the cost of keeping Detroit’s best offensive weapon, how it may affect the rest of the offseason, and the effect on vice president-general manager Bob Quinn’s legacy. Currently, Detroit has the fifth most salary cap space with an estimated $30.3 million according to Spotrac’s cap tracker website.
That puts the Lions in a pretty good position to do any number of things in free agency, sign another cornerback who has starting experience, find a defensive end who can contribute to the pass rush, add a guard or two to beef up the offensive line, or maybe to negotiate a deal with our best weapon.
Golladay, originally a third-round pick in 2017, made the Pro-Bowl last year in his third year. He had his best but second 1,000-yard season and lead the NFL in touchdowns despite being thrown to by three different quarterbacks.
Golladay is the only player to accomplish that feat since Golden Tate and Marvin Jones both did it back in 2017. Jones has back-to-back seasons that have been shortened by injuries but continues to be a good second option when healthy.
Why rush to give Golladay a new contract? There are several good reasons. First, Golladay is a top NFL wide receiver and is grossly underpaid by the Detroit Lions, although these figures are routinely skewed by newly signed contracts. He ranks as the 61st cap hit among wide receivers according to Spotrac, meaning that there are over 50 players set to cost more in 2020 that are not as good or productive as he is.
Sammy Watkins, for example, has a cost to the Kansas City Chiefs of $21 million dollars in 2020 and he put up 673 yards receiving and three scores in 2019. In fact, he has only had one 1,000-yard season in his six years as a pro, stats from Pro Football Reference. Golladay has done it twice in three years, unlike Watkins who has the top cap hit in the league.