DJ Chark, Carolina Panthers
DJ Chark left Detroit after one year, for another one-year deal with the Panthers in free agency. Over 11 games for the Lions last year, he had 30 catches for 502 yards and three scores.
Once he returned from a several-week absence due to an ankle injury, Chark was an important piece of the Lions' offense down the stretch last season. He topped 90 yards in three of four games from Week 13-16, and he averaged 20.8 yards per catch over a five-game stretch from Week 13-17. He capped the season with two clutch catches in Week 18 against the Green Bay Packers.
Carolina had a major need of wide receivers following their trade with Chicago that sent D.J. Moore and picks to Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick . The Panthers used that pick on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, and surrounding him with viable weapons had to be atop the Panthers' to-do list.
In a wide receiver room featuring just four guys with more than two years of NFL experience, Chark should be able to carve out a place for himself in Carolina fairly easily. During his media availability during OTAs, head coach Frank Reich described Chark as the Panthers’ “big play guy.”
If Chark can stay healthy this season, he may be able to earn himself a lon- term deal next March.