Jaylen Waddle deal shows perfect timing Lions had with Amon-Ra St. Brown deal

Another receiver has gotten paid, which makes the Lions getting their deal done with Amon-Ra St. Brown when they did look better.
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It was a matter of when, not if, the Detroit Lions got a deal done with Amon-Ra St. Brown to make him one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. His status as the highest-paid receiver, however flimsy based on reported surface per year value, lasted one day.

After the Lions got big deals done with St. Brown, Penei Sewell and Jared Goff in a matter of weeks, Lions' general manager Brad Holmes explained the approach. Speaking specifically about St. Brown on "The Rich Eisen Show", Holmes' words were prescient as plenty of other wide receivers are lined up for big contracts.

"The bottom line is, from our standpoint, we just want to do what's right by the player and we want to make sure like, (Amon-Ra) St. Brown has earned this and we can't control what happens after that, but we wanted to make sure that we did what we're supposed to do and pay him appropriately. You try to do as best you can, but you know you just can't control the future. A lot of times, those other things that are looming, they're waiting for the first person to strike, but we shouldn't really punish the player that we're trying to reward because of what we can't control."

Simply put, the Lions didn't wait for other wide receivers to be done before the signed St. Brown to his deal. The top of the market has not yet been reset, but a deal that was reported Thursday morning makes the proactive approach look even better.

Jaylen Waddle deal makes timing of Lions' deal with Amon-Ra St. Brown's look even better

Jaylen Waddle is part of the same draft class as St. Brown (2021). With the fifth-year option the Miami Dolphins picked up, since he was a first-round pick, he technically has two years left on his current deal.

On Thursday morning, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and others, the Dolphins and Waddle agreed to a three-year, $84.75 million contract extension with $76 million guaranteed. Waddle is now, or should we say for now, a top-five paid wide receiver in the NFL.

Waddle and St. Brown are now both under contract through 2028.

St. Brown's four-year, $120 million deal has $77 million guaranteed. Waddle's deal has $76 million guaranteed, including (according to Pro Football Talk) an $18.87 million signing bonus. That looks like a big difference in percentage guaranteed, and it is: 64 percent for St. Brown; 89.6 percent for Waddle.

The Lions also added, per Over The Cap, three void years to St. Brown's deal to spread out the cap hit of his $28.5 million option bonus. How Waddle's new deal looks in terms of void years and cap hits is to-be determined, but it will be tougher for Miami to spread out the cap implications. Miami also has a looming issue with Tyreek Hill's contract as the wide receiver market rises.

Waddle was not going to reset the top of the wide receiver market, but he was going to ride the wave of rising contracts to get a nice new deal when the time came. The Lions proactively signed St. Brown, and the deal they got done will allow them to keep a good team together for awhile. The Dolphins, and other teams, won't be able to say the same as they pay their star receiver.


Next. 5 Detroit Lions players who are next up for a contract extension. 5 Detroit Lions players who are next up for a contract extension. dark