Josh Reynolds officially leaves Detroit Lions in free agency

It has felt inevitable all along, but the Lions have officially lost Josh Reynolds in free agency.
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It has seemed likely all along, even as Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes expressed desire to bring him back at the league meetings this week. Josh Reynolds only had one known free agent visit, with the Baltimore Ravens, as the market for him seemed cooler than expected.

In what may be a pure coincidence, just one day after Holmes clearly indicated he was the one part of the Lions' original free agency plan that had not come to fruition, ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report Reynolds has agreed to a two-year deal worth "up to" $14 million with the Denver Broncos.

When the Lions re-signed Donovan Peoples-Jones on March 16, that seemed like the clear sign Reynolds would not be back. From the start, it seemed sure multiple other teams could give him a larger role, and probably more money, than the Lions would.

Reynolds' departure has nothing to do with his two critical drops in the NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers, even if a segment of Lions' fans wanted to single him out and wave goodbye to him based solely on it. There was an incorrect perception, however small it was, that his "sh*t happens" quote after the loss to the 49ers was a sign he didn't care about his failure in a big game.

Josh Reynolds' time with the Lions had simply run its course

When things were going poorly for him with the Tennessee Titans in 2021 and he was put on waivers, Reynolds was a no-brainer pickup for the Lions. He had history with Jared Goff from their days with the Rams, and over two-plus seasons that history and trust was proven.

Over his 38 games as a Lion, 72 of Reynolds' 97 receptions went for first downs. Last season, 32 of his 40 catches moved the chains.

But with Jameson Williams lined up for a bigger role next season, Reynolds was headed for a reduced role. Sheer wide receiver depth is not an issue for the Lions, but after Amon-Ra St. Brown there is a lack of proven top-end talent. The early part of the draft may bring the addition of someone.

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