5 free agent wide receivers who actually make sense for the Detroit Lions

If the Lions look to sign a wide receiver, these five free agents actually make sense.
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2. Zay Jones

The Jaguars have re-shaped their wide receiver corps a bit this offseason, and with depth in place they released Jones earlier this week; two years into a three-year, $24 million deal. He set career-highs in catches (82) and yards (823) during his first season in Jacksonville, but last season was marred by injury (nine games played) and he was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge in December.

Jones has never quite gotten to the level suggested by his being a second-round pick. But he does have the size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and speed combo the Lions could (should?) be looking for to fill out their receiving corps, and when he's been healthy with a good quarterback he has put up noteworthy numbers.

1. Tyler Boyd

Boyd clearly stands as the best free agent wide receiver available, and perhaps the best free agent still available at any position. The Lions reportedly had some early interest in him, but reports of a high asking price ($9 million per year?) may have turned them off, as it seems to have turned off a lot of teams.

Cincinnati's additions of Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase in back-to-back drafts (2020 and 2021) naturally reduced Boyd's opportunities and his numbers dropped after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019. But he still topped 750 yards with more than 90 targets in three of the last four seasons. He has failed to top 600 yards just once in eight NFL seasons.

It's easy, too easy, to pigeonhole Boyd as a slot receiver based on his primary deployment with the Bengals. But he has good size (6-foot-2) and contested catch ability. Even if he were to sign with the Lions and remain the slot a lot, the overlap with Amon-Ra St. Brown would not be as strong as is easy to perceive.

At this point, Boyd is line to have to settle for a fairly cheap one-year deal with potential landing spots narrowing even further after the draft. Until he signs somewhere, the Lions should have some level of (renewed) interest.

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