According to a report from NFL Network, the Detroit Lions are giving wide receiver Kalif Raymond a two-year extension. Ian Rapoport doesn’t give specific details, but qualifies the contract as making Raymond one of the “highest-paid punt returners” in the league.
UPDATE: Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Raymond’s deal is a two-year, $14 million deal with $8.1 million guaranteed.
Last year, Raymond was named second-team All Pro after finishing second in the NFL with an average of 13.2 yards per punt return, including a game-shifting 47-yard punt return against the New York Jets.
But it’s worth pointing out that Raymond’s value goes way beyond just being a return specialist. Last year, he actually finished second on the team in receiving yards, gaining 616 yards on 47 catches. PFF recently named Raymond one of the most underrated receivers in the game due to his unbelievable separation numbers as a route runner.
As of right now, Raymond is headed towards a starting role on the Lions offense, as he has been repping all training camp with the first-team offense as an outside receiver. Earlier this year, coach Dan Campbell talked about just how valuable Raymond will be during Jameson Williams’ six-game suspension to start the year.
“He can play all of the positions,” Campbell said. “He can play the X, he can play the slot, he can play the Z. He is smart. He is tough. He is heads-y. He is a go-getter. He is resilient. He is a huge asset for us. Thank God we have him. So, he will be big for us while Jamo is out.”
Last offseason, the Lions re-signed Raymond to a two-year, $5 million deal. He was due to cost the Lions $4.05 million against the cap this year, but that figure could change with this extension.
We’ll have more information on Raymond’s new contract when they become available. For now, a well-deserved congratulations to Raymond. Enjoy his awesome story with his excellent “Under the Helmet” episode: