5 free agents the Detroit Lions should be glad they didn’t sign

Credit: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images
Credit: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images /
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Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

2. WR Zay Jones (Jacksonville Jaguars–three years, $24 million)

Jones finished the 2021 season with the Las Vegas Raiders on a bit of a heater, with 38 catches on 54 targets over the final seven regular season games (six starts).  In the playoff loss to the Bengals, he had five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. In the first 10 games of the season, he had nine catches in a very limited role. The situation with Henry Ruggs opened up an opportunity he had to take advantage of heading toward free agency.

Jones has never delivered on any perception of his potential. His best season, 56 catches for 652 yards and seven touchdowns with the Buffalo Bills in 2018, feels longer ago than that.

Somehow, Jones got a three-year, $24 million deal ($14 million guaranteed) from the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s unlikely any other teams were offering more than one or two years to him, including possibly the Lions, and no one was offering $8 million a year with eight figures in guarantees.

In light of what Jones got, the Lions’ signing of DJ Chark looks even smarter.