It could be rationaled to make sense in a vacuum, but the Detroit Lions bringing back Kenny Golladay feels like a huge, huge reach.
Upon taking over as Detroit Lions general manager in 2021, Brad Holmes had some big decisions. Matthew Stafford wanted to be traded to a contender, and that came down to working with him to find a suitable landing spot. Another big decision was on wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
Golladay was coming off a 2020 season where he played just five games, as first a hamstring injury cost him a couple games then a hip issue ended his season at Week 8. But the talent level was there, with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019.
The Lions/Holmes did not seem to seriously consider re-signing Golladay, and they did not tender him a franchise tag on something of a buying into a rebound or prove-it basis. He wound up getting a nice free agent deal (four years, $72 million) from the New York Giants.
As expected coming off that dismal stint in New York, and dismal may not be a harsh enough word to describe it, Golladay is still available.
But could a return to the Lions be in the cards?
A reunion between the Lions and Kenny Golladay is a big reach
In a broad sense, with Jameson Williams’ six-game suspension as the tentpole, the wide receiver spot could be a concern for the Lions.
On a list of player-team free agent matches, tabbed as logical moves even, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports matched the Lions to a reunion with Golladay.
"Almost nothing went right for Golladay once he cashed in on his Detroit emergence back in 2021 free agency. But the ex-Giant’s big frame would be welcome as more of a secondary option now that the Lions have their sights set on a playoff run, especially with Jameson Williams suspended to start the year."
In theory, even now heading into his age-30 season, Golladay’s talent and physical attributes are still there. And in some sense, even as no one would blame him for taking the contract he was offered, he simply made a bad career decision to sign with the Giants. If he had signed elsewhere, almost anywhere else, there’s a chance things would’ve been noticeably better.
Golladay will certainly come cheap, and still no team has taken a flier on him yet. As possible reunions for him go, the Los Angeles Rams and reuniting with Stafford makes a lot more sense than going back to the Lions.