The market took a few days to settle, but Kenny Golladay has found a new home. The wide receiver who spent his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions will suit up for the New York Giants next season.
The four-year deal with the Giants deal is worth up to $76 million, with $40 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.
While a number of free agent deals were worked out before the start of the new league year on Wednesday, Golladay spent three days visiting the Giants before the agreement was finalized on Saturday.
“Well first off, I think it’s really just they just wanted to lay eyes on me, taking a different approach about this whole process,” Golladay said in a video call with New York reporters. “It kind of worked out for both sides. I was able to come in and see what they’re all about, I was able to see how the facility was, they had a chance to pick my brain and I think it worked out pretty smooth.”
A third-round draft pick out of Northern Illinois in 2017, Golladay wasted little time making an impact, catching two touchdowns in his debut with the Lions. A hamstring injury would end up slowing his momentum that year and he finished his rookie campaign with 28 catches for 477 yards and three scores.
By his second season, Golladay emerged as Detroit’s go-to option in the passing game. Over the next two years, he would haul in 135 passes, topping 1,000 yards both seasons, while leading the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions in 2019.
Heading into his contract year with the Lions, the injury bug bit Golladay once again. He missed the first two games of the 2020 season with another hamstring issue before a hip pointer sidelined him for the final nine contests.
In the four games he played start to finish, he continued to be the team’s top offensive weapon, either going over 100 yards or catching a touchdown in those appearances.
The Giants ran Golladay through a physical as part of his visit and he told reporters there were no issues.
After the previous regime failed to come to terms on a long-term extension during last year, Detroit’s new management opted not to place the franchise tag on Golladay.
His departure ensures a complete overhaul to the team’s receiving corps, which had already seen Marvin Jones and Jamal Agnew agree to contracts with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. Danny Amendola, Detroit’s slot receiver the past two seasons, is also not expected to return.
The Lions did get an early start on a replacement plan, signing Tyrell Williams to a one-year deal ahead of free agency. The big-bodied, deep ball specialist was released by Las Vegas Raiders last month after missing the 2020 season with a shoulder injury. In the previous four seasons with the Raiders and Chargers, Williams averaged 49 catches for 772 yards and 5.5 touchdowns.
The team has also reached an agreement with Breshad Perriman.
Outside of Williams and Perriman, the Lions return Quintez Cephus, who caught 20 passes as a rookie last season, and Geronimo Allison, who opted out of the 2020 season shortly after signing a one-year deal with the Lions.
The Lions will obviously need to continue to seek reinforcements throughout the offseason. There are still plenty of productive options available on the free-agent market, including Josh Reynolds, who general manager Brad Holmes knows well from their time together in Los Angeles.
The upcoming draft is also considered to be deep at the position, with three options who merit consideration with Detroit’s first-round pick — Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith or LSU’s JaMarr Chase.
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