According to his agent, the Detroit Lions are signing wide receiver and return man Kalif Raymond to a one-year contract.
Raymond (5-foot-9, 182 pounds) went undrafted out of Holy Cross in 2016 and has been a bit of a journeyman over his first five years in the league. He signed with the Denver Broncos as a rookie, then spent 2017 in New York splitting time between the Giants and the Jets. In 2018 he landed with the Tennessee Titans, where he spent the last three seasons.
Over his first two years in the league, he only had two offensive touches—one reception for 12 yards and one rush for negative-one yard—but he earned his roster spot on special teams. Over the last two years with the Titans, he opened up his game on the offensive side of the ball a bit (nine receptions in each year) but was still earning his spot in the third phase as a returner. In 2019 he averaged 11.3 yards per punt return for the Titans, and in 2020 he checked in at 9.0 yards. On kick returns, he averaged 22.4 yards and 18.3 yards, respectively.
Raymond has 4.34 speed, which shows up when he gets vertical—a trend among Lions receivers this offseason—and it leads to him being a potential big-play threat.
TOUCHDOWN! #TENvsIND @ryantannehill1 to Kalif Raymond pic.twitter.com/hbCO46PoQi— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 1, 2019
While Raymond is a big-play option, he is likely not viewed as an every-down slot receiver and more of a WR4 or 5 who can be used situationally. For example, last season with the Lions Agnew averaged roughly 19 percent of snaps, while Raymond averaged 23 percent in Tennessee.
Adding depth at wide receiver is vital this offseason and Raymond definitely helps, but the Lions surely aren’t done adding pass catchers and the position should still be in play at pick No. 7 in the draft.