The free agent wide receiver market is thinning quickly, but the Detroit Lions should still avoid Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
What once looked like a fairly deep free agent class of wide receivers has thinned quickly, with franchise tags and some deals announced on Monday. The Detroit Lions are left to pick from those thinning options, and Aaron Wilson or Pro Football Network has reported they are among the teams interested in Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Valdes-Scantling has spent his first four NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers. So the Lions have seen plenty of him within the NFC North. His best season came in 2020, when he had 33 receptions for 690 yards (a league-leading 20.9 yards per catch) and six touchdowns.
In 2021, Valdes-Scantling had 26 catches for 430 yards and three touchdowns over 11 games.
The Lions should easily steer clear of Marquez Valdes-Scantling
In terms of a deep threat, and one that already has rapport with Jared Goff, the Lions brought one back when they re-signed Josh Reynolds. They also brought back Reynolds at a real value, while the thinning market pushes Valdes-Scantling’s potential price higher with each new signing.
In a broad sense, the Lions should have some level of interest in any free agent wide receiver who is available. It comes down to cost, fit, etc. As receivers with some size like Valdes-Scantling go, DJ Chark stands as a good (and truly more ideal) target for Detroit.
When it comes down to it, as the Packers long tried to find someone who could take any sustainable heat off Davante Adams as a secondary perimeter weapon, Valdes-Scantling goes down as one who wasn’t consistently up to the task. Catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, no less.
The Lions’ still fairly new regime got an up-close look, together, at Valdes-Scantling last season as he went catchless on four targets and 43 snaps in Week 2 and barely played Week 18 when Green Bay rested people. That was surely enough to turn them away from real interest in him as a free agent. I don’t doubt Wilson’s report, but there’s a gap between serious interest and “interest” that may not have been any more than a phone call to Valdes-Scantling’s agent to see about asking price.