Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown To Land $26MM-$28MM AAV On New Contract?

We heard at the end of last month that the Lions and star wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown would begin working on an extension at the Scouting Combine. ESPN’s Dan Graziano confirms that contract negotiations are indeed underway (subscription required).

Per Graziano, St. Brown’s new deal could feature an average annual value of $26MM-$28MM, which would position the former fourth-rounder near the top of the WR market as it currently stands. At present, Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM AAV is tops among his peers, though that number is artificially inflated by an exorbitant ~$44MM salary in 2026 that Hill will almost certainly never see. Raiders wideout Davante Adams is next on the list with a $28MM AAV, while the Rams’ Cooper Kupp enjoys a $26.7MM AAV and also secured a WR-record $75MM in total guarantees when he signed his extension with Los Angeles in June 2022.

St. Brown, who is entering his age-25 season, clearly has an argument to be the highest-paid player at his position. The USC product has improved his production over each of his first three years in the league, and in 2023, he posted a stellar 119/1,515/10 slash line. Those totals earned him First-Team All-Pro acclaim along with the second Pro Bowl bid of his young career, and he has been one of the driving forces behind Detroit’s hugely successful rebuild.

Plus, as a non-first-round draft choice in 2021, St. Brown does not have a fifth-year option on his rookie contract, and he is therefore eligible for free agency in 2025. The Lions could of course deploy the franchise tag next offseason if they cannot work out a multiyear accord between now and then, but the tag for receivers is projected to be in the $25MM ballpark (h/t, and St. Brown’s is not the only contract that needs to be addressed. Quarterback Jared Goff is also entering the final year of his current deal and is due for a significant raise of his own, and GM Brad Holmes may also want to explore extensions for OT Penei Sewell and DT Alim McNeill.

Sewell, a 2021 first-round choice, could be retained via the fifth-year option in 2025, though McNeill was a 2021 third-rounder and will be out of contract at the end of the 2024 campaign. Nonetheless, St. Brown will clearly be a top priority, and there is seemingly no chance that Holmes will allow him to sniff the open market, even if he has to pony up an historic contract to keep him in Honolulu blue.

In order to create some salary cap breathing room, at least in the short-term, the Lions restructured the contract of recently-acquired cornerback Carlton Davis, as Jason Fitzgerald of reports. The move frees up $4.5MM of cap space in 2024, though as Justin Rogers of the Detroit News observes, that additional flexibility was created via three void years. Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 passes along the full details.

Of course, the Lions could also recoup additional spending power as a result of the unfortunate Cameron Sutton situation.

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