Signing DJ Chark named Detroit Lions’ best move of the 2022 offseason
By Zach Payne
The Detroit Lions didn’t make any earth-shattering moves in free agency, but the signing of DJ Chark has been named their best move of the offseason.
A lot has been made about the transformation of the Detroit Lions receiver room. After all, it was arguably the worst position group on the roster last season. It looks to be a real strength on paper this year, as general manager Brad Holmes has invested significant resources to bolster the unit.
From the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown, to the re-signing of Josh Reynolds and trading up in the draft to select Jameson Williams, the Lions look pretty good at wide receiver now.
However, perhaps the move that has really flown under the radar is the signing of DJ Chark. Back in the opening days of free agency, the Lions signed Chark to a one-year deal. That move is now being heralded as the best one Detroit made this offseason by Patrik Walker of CBS Sports.
Signing DJ Chark was sneaky great move for the Lions
Here’s Walker’s reasoning.
"Jared Goff was good enough to warrant adding around him in free agency as opposed to giving him the Wentz Treatment and, as such, they’ll welcome in Chark to the offense for 2022. When healthy, and if targeted well, Chark can be an explosive receiving threat for a Lions team that desperately needs such talent. He reeled in 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns in his second year in the league, and with the Jaguars, which tells you what he can do. If he and Goff can get on the same page early and often, this will turn out to [easily] be the best move they’ve made in 2022."
Chark showcased that ability to be a deep threat in 2019 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, when he caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. He also earned a Pro Bowl selection for his efforts.
However, he has not been able to replicate the success of that season since. The biggest factor in that has been his health. Over the last two seasons Chark has played in 17 games, including just four during the 2021 season.
The good news is if he stays healthy, Chark has a very clear path to seeing significant snaps. St. Brown is likely going to see the greatest number of targets among the Lions’ wide receivers, but after him the pecking order is hazier. Williams likely will climb to the top of the depth chart eventually, but he is still recovering from a torn ACL and it may not happen during his rookie season.
Chark is penciled in right now as a starter with St. Brown, with a skill set that nicely compliments the second-year man’s. Opportunity is knocking as Chark gets a chance to revive career in Detroit.