Segment of toxic Lions' fans helped deliver what they wanted with Josh Reynolds

After a bad game in a big game, a toxic segment of Detroit Lions' fans apparently helped get what they wanted with Josh Reynolds.

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For the better part of basically two-and-half seasons as a Detroit Lion, Josh Reynolds was a reliable target for Jared Goff as their history with the Los Angeles Rams fostered easy chemistry on a new team. But Reynolds had his worst game of last season, and probably of his Lions' tenure, in the NFC Championship Game loss to the 49ers.

Two critical dropped passes in the game, and what some wanted to paint as a careless attitude about them brought a "good riddance" vibe from a section of Lions' fans when the idea he'd be gone as a free agent came up. But looking at his likely role in the Lions' offense next season, and a general idea he could get a decent contract somewhere else, was a more credible way to predict he'd be gone.

After meeting a pretty cold market for his services, Reynolds finally signed with the Denver Broncos as March wound down. It has become clear the Lions did not make a serious effort to re-sign him, which was not surprising.

But Reynolds ultimately may not have wanted to come back to Detroit unless it was his last resort.

Toxic segment of Lions' fans got what they wanted in Josh Reynolds' situation

Technology and social media allows fans to have access to athletes in a way they never have before. If someone has a Twitter handle, an Instagram account, etc. as a tool to interact with fans, they also expose themselves to the vitriolic segment of fans when they don't put up stats for fantasy football teams or they fail in a big game.

Reynolds was of course in the latter category.

During a recent mailbag edition of the Detroit Lions podcast, after discussing the team's wide receiver situation, Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire had some deeper insight about Reynolds' departure.

"People in his camp were encouraging him to try to find a better place away from some of the toxicity of certain Detroit fans," Risdon said. "I know he took some of it to heart."

While it's easy to say Reynolds should have thicker skin about that kind of stuff and block it out, fans who can hide behind a keyboard and a screen can say almost whatever they want with no real consequences.

Based on comments on the SideLion Report Facebook page, there was definitely a fair amount of Lions' fans who wanted Reynolds gone after the critical drops in the NFC title game. Some fans solely blamed him for the loss, as if he was the only one who made a mistake in that game.

If toxicity from some aggressive keyboard warrior Lions' fans was a breaking point for him, Reynolds is clearly better off elsewhere. Whether the team will be better off without him is still to be determined, but he's also not irreplaceable.

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