3. Darius Slayton
It seemed to be a matter of time before Slayton was on his way out in New York via trade or an outright release. But he eventually landed back in a prominent role in 2022. In eight games from Week 5-13, he averaged 17.3 yards per catch with at least 58 yards seven times (79 or more yards four times).
Over his four seasons with the Giants, Slayton has averaged at least 15 yards per catch three times and his 12.5 ADOT (average depth of target) this past season was his lowest mark.
Slayton seems sure to land elsewhere in free agency, as the Giants eye upgrades to their wide receiver corps with ample cap money to spend. There’s untapped potential here, and the Lions may think they can tap into it if they make a move to replace Chark.
2. Mecole Hardman
Hardman did not play in the Super Bowl for the Kansas City Chiefs, after trying to play through an injury to his pelvis in the AFC Championship Game against the Bengals. Before that, he had not played since Week 9 of the regular season.
The Chiefs may just let Hardman go this offseason, based on his injury struggles this year. But he did not miss a regular season game in any of his first three seasons. His catch and yardage production was also on an upward trend before the injury-dampened season (59 receptions for 693 yards in 2021).
Spotrac has very recently updated its projection of Hardman’s market value, to a four-year, $41.58 million deal in free agency ($10.3 million per year). He may have to settle for a shorter deal than that though, if not a cheaper one per year as well.
On the notion Chark may leave, Hardman is someone the Lions should take a solid look at on the open market.