The Detroit Lions have several notable free agents to consider re-signing this offseason, including their top two wide receivers in Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the latter is a strong candidate to receive the franchise tag if they cannot agree to terms on a new deal, as the Lions are apparently set on keeping Golladay in the fold.
Rapoport said of Golladay on "NFL Now," via NFL.com, that after they had talks last year about a long-term extension, which ultimately didn't happen, they're going to try again this year, "but expect him to be tagged if they don't get a deal."
After the Lions locked up left tackle Taylor Decker last September, they reportedly shifted their focus to re-signing the Pro Bowl wideout they drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Northern Illinois. Golladay caught just 20 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games played this past year, as COVID-19 and then a hip injury forced him to miss the majority of the season. Golladay did put up career-high numbers in 2019, as he caught 65 passes for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Earlier this month, CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora tabbed Golladay as a "sure thing" when it comes to the 13 players he's keeping an eye on regarding the franchise tag:
"Many teams view him as the best WR option out there, but keeping him on the tag at around $16M, when the open market may bear around $19M, would make a lot of sense. Multiple league sources have told me Golladay will get the tag after his relationship with the prior regime in Detroit got rocky over prolonged extension negotiations. Could this be an eventual tag and trade? People around the league wouldn't rule that out with the Lions rebuilding and trying to amass picks."
Jones on the other hand will likely be playing for a new team in 2021, as he recently revealed that he wants to sign with a contender that can also afford to pay him. Golladay has said previously that he hopes he can stay in Detroit, which now looks like something that will indeed happen whether it be on a new deal or via the franchise tag.
"I want to be here, like the city, like what's going on," Golladay said in December, via the Detroit Free Press.
"They believed in me. And say, if a contract, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, then I'll go somewhere else and ball out and play. But like I say, I'm a loyal person and of course I want to be here. I started my career here."