5 under the radar free agent wide receivers the Detroit Lions could target

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Russell Gage

Gage had a second straight solid season for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021, with 66 catches for 770 yards and four touchdowns. From Week 9 through the end of the season (10 games), as Calvin Ridley remained absent, he had 57 receptions for 675 yards (11.8 yards per catch) and three touchdowns. While no one else was looking, fantasy footbal managers surely noticed Atlanta’s de facto No. 1 wide receiver (WR17 in standard scoring, WR14 in full PPR and WR15 in 0.5-point PPR from Week 9-18, per Fantasy Pros).

The Falcons’ cap concerns may mean Gage will be too expensive for them to keep. But they could find a way to keep him, especially now in the wake of Ridley being suspended the entire 2022 season for betting on games during his time away to deal with mental health concerns last season. Right now, without knowing a possible way around it for some type of cause/contractual violation, the Falcons would take on Ridley’s $11.116 million for 2022 as dead money if they cut him. So it would not help their cap situation, on the surface.

But back to Gage as a free agent target for Detroit. How would things like this catch look in a Lions’ uniform?

It would not be a surprise if Gage is pretty high on the Lions’ list of wide receiver free agent targets. But he is absolutely under the radar compared to his bigger-name free agent peers.

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