Extension Candidate: Kenny Golladay

Top Lions wideout Kenny Golladay is due to make $2.133MM in 2020, the final season of his rookie contract. Considering his importance to the team, his overall abilities, and the fact that he is starting to look like one of the better receivers in the league, that represents a terrific value for Detroit.

It stands to reason that the Lions would like to extend Golladay before he is eligible to hit the open market next offseason, and both sides are interested in a new deal. But as of March 30, no contract talks had commenced, and it’s highly unlikely that anything will change in that regard until there is more clarity on future salary caps.

Indeed, big-money extensions have been rare in the current climate, and Golladay’s next contract will undoubtedly be a hefty one. Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com believes the Northern Illinois product will land a deal with an average annual value of at least $17MM (Twitter link), and a review of the receiver market shows that estimate might actually be on the low end. While Golladay may not be on the level of the Saints’ Mike Thomas, it can certainly be argued that he is at least as good as the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper, who just inked a five-year, $100MM contract ($60MM guaranteed) this offseason.

Golladay could stand to improve his consistency, as he put up a couple duds in 2019 even before QB Matthew Stafford was lost for the season. But when Stafford was under center last year, Golladay posted four 100-yard efforts, and he was a TD machine throughout the season, hitting paydirt 11 times. For what it’s worth, Golladay graded out as a top-10 receiver in terms of Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, and he also made the first Pro Bowl of his career.

In all, he tallied 1,190 yards to go along with those 11 TDs, both career-highs. And though his career catch rate is a little on the low side (57.6%), that often comes with the territory for a big-play threat. After all, Golladay posted a whopping 18.3 yards-per-reception last year, good for fourth in the league.

He has been on an upward trajectory over his first three professional seasons, and it would be fair to expect another step forward in 2020, assuming Stafford stays healthy. As soon as the team gets a better understanding of its future financial picture, it seems likely that it will start negotiations in earnest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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