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Notes: Kenny Golladay will receive a 2020 pay raise

How big? It depends if the Lions extend his contract early

2020 Pro Bowl Jason Beede/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Fresh off a solid performance at the 2020 Pro Bowl, Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay’s stock has never been higher. Judging by the stories that came out yesterday from the Detroit media yesterday, the heightened profile of the former third-round pick is already translating to real money and a bright future. Per Justin Rogers at the Detroit News, Golladay automatically gets a number of pay raises due to the Proven Performance Escalator clause in the collective bargaining agreement:

Instead of making a salary at or close to veteran minimum, those players that hit the Proven Performance Escalator see an increase in their base salary that correlates to the lowest restricted free agent tag that year.

In 2020, that’s $2.147 million, and that’s what Lions receiver Kenny Golladay is now set to earn.

Golladay, a third-round pick out of Northern Illinois in 2017, was originally slated to make $750,500 in 2020. But after blowing past the 35% snap count threshold each of his first three seasons with the Lions, including 84.1% in 2018 and 86.9% last season, he’s in line for the 186% raise in 2020.

Former Lions receiver Nate Burleson spoke glowingly about Golladay during a media appearance in Miami for Super Bowl week. Burleson told the official Lions site’s Tim Twentyman that “Kenny, that’s my guy, he’s like my new favorite player. I have his jersey at home. I’m a true fan of his.” In the article, Twentyman wrote that the size and strength combination that number 19 brings to the Lions offense reminded Burleson of Larry Fitzgerald, which is a heck of a compliment.

With Golladay entering the final year of his rookie deal, Burleson believes the team needs to get a contract extension done now before the price goes up. Per Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press:

“The smart thing to do is pay him right now and get him cheap,” Burleson said. ”You convince a guy who isn’t up for a contract, and you say, ‘Listen man, we’re going to get a little bit of a discount, but we’re going to put some money in your pocket. We’ll give you some stability, you’ll be around for a while,’ and see if he takes the deal. But if you wait and he mess around and gets better, puts up more numbers, I’ll call him myself and say don’t take that money. Ask for everything and make sure they back up the Brinks truck.”

Apparently, Burleson is not the only NFL Network analyst who thinks this way. According to Birkett, NFL Network’s James Jones agreed:

“They better hurry up and pay Kenny,” NFL Network analyst James Jones said Thursday at Super Bowl 54. “Very, very fast because the longer you wait to pay Kenny, the higher the price goes.”

While Golladay is already guaranteed to get the performance escalator increase, the Lions could also choose to get an extension done before the 2020 season. Such a deal would obviously cost more than the $2.147 million Golladay would have otherwise counted against the cap (MLive’s Kyle Meinke points out that top-15 money at WR is about $13 million), but it would keep the Pro Bowl receiver in Detroit for years to come. Admittedly, the team has not had a good history of offering early extensions to retain homegrown talent, so this will be something to watch during the offseason.

And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett had a fun writeup about a radio appearance made by Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. In the radio interview, Robinson was asked about how Chicago Bears “quarterback” Mitchell Trubisky has played some of his best career games against the Matt Patricia-led Lions:

“Man, I cannot tell you the secret to that,” Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson said Thursday on radio row at Super Bowl LIV. ”I know the secret, but I can’t tell you the secret. But I do know the secret.”

Pretty sure every Lions fan knows what the secret is, too.

“It’s funny cause I actually, talking to my dad, I’ve played against Detroit four times and I have three game balls,” Robinson said. “Since I’ve been in Chicago. We played twice last year, twice this year, and I have three gameballs from playing against Detroit.”


  • The rosters for teams in the XFL have been released, and a number of familiar names show up across that league’s talent base:

  • Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press posted a video with Dan Orlovsky in Miami where Dan O explains why the Lions should not draft Tua Tagovailoa.

  • Not Lions-related, but this is a “pretty cool” Michigan aspect of the Super Bowl:

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