The title of this article are words I never thought I’d type. The Lions have been a really bad team for a while. So when there’s bright spots to watch like Kenny Golladay, there tends to be some emotional attachment to a player. I’m sure there will be some Lions fans that are very strongly against this idea. I completely understand.
Still, as the days go by, it seems the right thing to do is let Kenny Golladay walk. He will be one of the big free agents this offseason regardless of the injuries that kept him out of most of the 2020 season. There will be teams looking to bolster their receiving corps with a guy like Golladay, and there’s always going to be a team out there that will overpay. It just shouldn’t be the Detroit Lions. Here’s a few reasons the Lions should cut their losses.
Save the money
It’s hard to know what kind of money Kenny Golladay wants, but I would imagine it’s top receiver money, because I’m sure he values himself and believes he’s one of the best in the league. The team could chose to franchise tag Golladay and make sure they keep him, but that is still an expensive move and one that can sometimes come with turmoil. More often than not, players don’t like to be tagged.
The Lions are in trouble in a lot of areas and perhaps now is not the time to be investing the highest dollar in a receiver, especially when the Lions draft seventh overall and could have their choice of Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase.
By letting Golladay go and getting young at the position, the Lions can then use those caps space resources on the worst defense in the NFL.
Is Kenny Golladay the type of receiver this team needs?
Seems like a weird question, right? The biggest issue with the Lions receiving corps in recent years has always been separation. The Lions have ranked near or at the bottom of the league in separation on multiple occasions. Kenny Golladay has been the Lions worst receiver in that category as recently as November when he was ranked dead last in separation among all receivers.
There’s no disputing that Golladay can make spectacular contested catches. We’ve seen it several times. I mean, look at this one.
I’m sure Kenny Golladay’s agent has already emailed this video clip to Bob Quinn pic.twitter.com/Gc9RW9W3gz— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) October 25, 2020
Amazing stuff. But let me just digress here for a second. What I see there is a great catch. What I also see there is a guy that couldn’t separate and damn near got killed trying to make that catch. Look at the way he lands with his back bouncing off a defender as he flies through the air and lands hard in the ground. Is it really surprising that this guy only played five games in 2020?
Which brings me back to the original point. Assuming, for some reason, the Lions keep Darrell Bevell, his offense is predicated on speed. What they need is fast receivers that can gain separation. What they have with Golladay is a tall guy that other teams would love to have high point the ball in the end zone instead of run down the field trying make a catch as he’s speeding away from a corner. The Lions need a good version of Marvin Hall. Golladay just isn’t that.
There’s a better option out there
If the Lions are hellbent on spending money on a receiver this offseason, there is a young option that new Lions GM Brad Holmes should look into. His name is Curtis Samuel. Here’s why.
Remember that whole separation thing I was talking about? The one were Golladay was dead last. Well Curtis Samuel is tied for eighth on that list. The man can flat out run and get away from defenders. This allows Matthew Stafford, who I expect to be the Lions quarterback going forward, to hit his receiver without having to find such tight windows. He can actually relax a little and go through his progressions knowing he’ll have a guy that can get open instead of having throw a guy open.
On top of picking up Samuel, the Lions could still grab one of the aforementioned receivers with the seventh pick and quickly have a rebuilt corps with Samuel, Cephus and whichever rookie they choose. They can then focus the rest of their resources on that defense.
So in closing, if the Lions decide to move on from Kenny Golladay, don’t panic. It will be sad to see him go, but Lions fans and the Lions organization shouldn’t fret too much for too long because it’s probably for the best thing that could happen for both parties.