NFL: Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller / USA TODAY Sports

Hours after the Detroit Lions reportedly informed wide receiver Kenny Golladay they would not use their 2021 franchise tag on the former Pro Bowler, two teams have already surfaced as potential front-runners for the pass-catcher's services. Long considered a logical candidate to be tagged, Golladay is now scheduled to hit the open market, and according to the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley, the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants are expected to show serious interest in the wideout once free agency begins next week.

"Word around the league is the Dolphins are determined to add a No. 1 receiver in free agency," Beasley wrote Tuesday, "and they are expected to show considerable interest in Golladay once the legal-tampering period begins next week. One league source went so far as to predict he ends up either with the Dolphins or the Giants."

Technically, free agents can't sign with new teams until March 17, the official start of the 2021 offseason. The two-day legal-tampering window, when unsigned players are free to begin contract negotiations, opens March 15. So long as Golladay and the Lions don't strike a long-term extension before then, the former third-round draft pick will hit the market for the first time in his career.

The Dolphins and Giants had already figured to pursue receiver help in free agency. Miami will presumably be looking for weapons to plug in opposite DeVante Parker in order to help second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and the Giants have publicly expressed interest in adding play-makers around third-year QB Daniel Jones.

Golladay is one of the bigger names to hit free agency at his position, arguably behind only the Bears' Allen Robinson and Buccaneers' Chris Godwin, the latter of whom reportedly received the franchise tag Tuesday. Injuries limited Golladay to just five games in 2020, but he logged consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2018-19.