It was inevitable to happen, but a report Tuesday morning confirms former Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay will be cut by the New York Giants.
Two years ago, beyond deciding where to trade Matthew Stafford, then-new Lions general manager Brad Holmes had another big decision on wide receiver Kenny Golladay. He was heading into free agency off playing just five games in 2020, but he had showed his potential with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019. He led the league with 11 receiving touchdowns in 2019.
Rather than franchise tag Golladay, or sign him to a multi-year deal, Holmes let Golladay explore the market apparently with little or no resistance in terms of an offer. He landed a four-year, $72 million deal ($40 million guaranteed) from the New York Giants.
Golladay had a rough first season in New York, with 37 catches for 521 yards and no touchdowns in 14 games. It was abundantly clear the Lions made the right decision. But that was nothing compared to 2022, as he had just six catches for 81 yards in 12 games. 12 games is deceiving though, as he only played 261 snaps and 63 of those came in Week 18 when the Giants rested anyone who was important with their playoff position locked in.
Former Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay now, inevitably, available
Two years into that deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Giants will release Golladay when the new league year starts.
The Giants will clear $6.7 million in cap space, as Schefter reported. They’ll also take on $14.7 million in dead money this year, which isn’t ideal. But they are in good position in terms of cap space this year, and they can more easily absorb that kind of dead money. To say nothing of getting rid of an overpaid player who was on the outs practically from the start of last season.
The Lions got a third-round compensatory pick for losing Golladay in free agency, which became safety Kerby Joseph last April. So they not only avoided a bad decision to bet on Golladay’s potential at the start of a rebuild, they got what looks to be a future star in their secondary for losing him.
So it became a win-win, and now Golladay will hit the market again with his stock at its lowest point.