Kenny Golladay has proven to be a steal for a Detroit Lions. The receiver was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft, and almost instantly declared himself as a star after a huge NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals. While he was inconsistent throughout the first two years of his career, in 2019 he truly announced himself as a longterm WR1.
Golladay has been a bargain for Detroit thus far as he is still playing on his rookie deal. 2020 is a contract year for the receiver which means the team is going to have to start thinking about an extension now to avoid having him hit the open market in 2021. But will the Lions do it?
Expectations heading into 2019
Golladay was supposed to be co-WR1 with Marvin Jones Jr. He was coming off of 1,000 yard season in 2018 and he really only had to keep up the same level of production. In 2018 he often disappeared during games, so becoming more of a consistent target for Matthew Stafford would be a great improvement.
Actual role in 2019
2019 stats: 65 reception, 1,190 yards, 11 touchdowns, 18.3 yards per catch
He set career highs with 1,190 yards and 11 touchdown catches despite being forced to play with backup quarterbacks for half of the season. He already has consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. He led the NFL in touchdown catches and his 18.3 yards per reception was among the best in the league.
Golladay was one of the lone bright spots late in the year as Stafford, Jones and Kerryon Johnson all missed games down the stretch. He played all 16, though. His reception total regressed a bit, form 70 to 65, but he was a lot more efficient with the passes he did catch.
Everything about Golladay’s season was great and he did not really regress in any area. He truly looks like he will be a top 5 receiver in the coming years.
The receiver is set to make $2 million next season. While that is almost four times higher than what he has made the previous three years, it is still a huge bargain for a player of that caliber. Golladay is aware of this too, though, and it is likely that he will want a new deal before the start of next season.
He has not made any public statements regarding an extension yet, but if Golladay see’s himself as a Lion longterm then he will most likely want to enter negotiations for a long term deal this summer, where his value is as high as ever.
Expect Bob Quinn to try to lock down Golladay this Summer. If they can not reach an agreement, though, then his price could become much higher next offseason, and there is always a chance he either leaves or forces the team to use the franchise tag.