DJ Chark’s departure from the Detroit Lions was always the more likely scenario, and head coach Dan Campbell has acknowledged the loss.
As the Detroit Lions made other moves in free agency, it became even more likely wide receiver DJ Chark would be gone. It indeed happened when he signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Replacing him may or not be a big deal, with a potential internal replacement in place as Jameson Williams moves toward being fully healthy in his second season.
During his session with the media the league meetings on Monday, Lions general manager Brad Holmes sort of set aside the idea of having to urgently replace Chark. He did, however obviously and naturally, say the door is not shut to adding a wide receiver and eyes will be kept open for potential options.
Head coach Dan Campbell has his scheduled league meetings media session on Tuesday morning. He talked about the loss of Chark too.
Dan Campbell talks about, but doesn’t quite lament, the loss of DJ Chark
Via Ben Raven of MLive, here’s what Campbell said about losing and replacing Chark.
"Yeah, I would say so. Yes, I would. I would. I think it would be nice to find another guy that can help us out there,” I would say our eyes are there. We do have eyes there, somehow, some way.But yeah, we’ll miss Chark. He’s another one. He brought something to us that was a little different than the rest of them, so yeah, I think that’s a fair assessment.”"
The Lions are fairly deep at wide receiver, with Amon-Ra St. Brown, Williams, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds in place. But Chark clearly impacted the offense as a field stretching vertical threat when he was healthy late last season, and based on recent news he has had another ankle surgery he may not have been 100 percent.
It really comes down to how aggressive the Lions will be to replace Chark, as Holmes and Campbell have both acknowledged they are looking at it. What’s left on the free agent market doesn’t look promising, the draft is certainly an option early or late and the trade market is fairly interesting if a bolder move is on the radar.