3 free agent wide receivers the Detroit Lions could still sign

The pickings have only gotten slimmer, but the Lions could still sign one of these three free agent wide receivers.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Michael Thomas

We previously explored the idea of the Lions signing the NFL's record holder for receptions in a season, even though that season (149 catches, in 2019) feels like half a lifetime ago now. The idea is rooted in head coach Dan Campbell being the Saints' tight ends coach during the early part of Thomas' career there, and presumably being very familiar with him (and we know how important that kind of thing can be for Campbell).

In his pointing to wide receiver as the biggest remaining roster hole for the Lions in the piece for ESPN.com, Schatz made a match with Thomas.

"This would be an excellent landing spot for a remaining veteran free agent receiver like Michael Thomas."

The important tentacle here is how Thomas sees himself after four injury-riddled seasons, and "riddled" may not be a strong enough word with just 20 games played from 2020-2023.

But being cut by the Saints, and still being available as we get deeper into May could (should?) be a humbling experience for Thomas. So maybe he'd embrace not being the No. 1 passing game option on a good team, and he'd be no higher than No. 3 or 4 for the Lions. It's hard to see him having had past issues of any sort with Campbell in New Orleans, but maybe the Lions' head coach saw or heard some things from others on the Saints' staff that would forever turn him off in regard to Thomas.

A healthy Thomas can presumably still be a pretty productive player at 31 years old. Banking on him being healthy all season would be foolish, for the Lions or anyone who might have him on their radar. As available options go Thomas is at the top of the wide receiver heap now though, and the fit with the Lions can be made to make sense (however optimistically).


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