The Detroit Lions will be missing a big piece of their offense from the 2022 season. As first reported by Jordan Schultz, wide receiver DJ Chark is signing a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. At this time, the contract terms are not publicly available.
Last year, Chark signed a one-year deal with the Lions and helped quickly turn around the Lions’ offense. Though he struggled with an ankle injury for the first half of the season, Chark really turned it on when he was back and healthy with the team. In the last six games of the season, Chark pulled in 21 catches for 388 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions were reportedly interested in bringing Chark back for 2023, but it appears the Panthers may have outbid them because Chark also showed some mutual interest in returning to Detroit publicly.
Detroit may now be in the market for some wide receiver depth, but in the immediacy, Chark’s role will almost certainly be filled by last year’s first-round pick Jameson Williams, who only played sparingly in the final six games of the season after he spent most of the year rehabbing from his torn ACL suffered in the National Championship game.
Detroit also returns Pro Bowler Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, Quintez Cephus, and Tom Kennedy to the wide receiver room, so it is not a pressing need necessarily.
Chark quickly responded to the news on social media:
— DJ Chark (@DJChark82) March 24, 2023
Also…— DJ Chark (@DJChark82) March 24, 2023
UPDATE: Chark offered a heartfelt thank you to Detroit:
UPDATE 2: Initial terms of the deal have been released
Contract terms: DJ Chark will sign a 1-year, $5M guaranteed deal with the #Panthers, per source.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 24, 2023
A chance to team up with Adam Thielen and hit free agency again next offseason when he's still 27 years old.
Follow along with all of the Detroit Lions 2023 offseason moves with our free agency tracker, and keep up to date on all the rumors here.