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Kenny Golladay Validates One of Brad Holmes' Early Decisions

The Detroit Lions did not commit long-term to Kenny Golladay last offseason.

Kenny Golladay finished the 2021 NFL season without a single touchdown reception. 

Entering the final game of the season, over 250 players were on the receiving end of a touchdown grab, but Golladay was not among them.

Last offseason, new Lions general manager Brad Holmes had the opportunity to place the franchise tag on Golladay, but eventually decided against paying the talented wideout approximately $16 million for the 2021 season. 

"We did discuss it, and we mulled over it. I wasn’t joking when I said he was at the forefront of my mind throughout the whole process," Holmes said. "But, we did discuss those options, and it just, there is some difficultly in terms of forecasting that’s involved. So, that’s kind of why you probably may see it more prevalent in the NBA versus the NFL."

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The New York Giants eventually decided to sign the 6-foot-4 wideout to a four-year, $72 million contract, with $40 million in guaranteed monies. 

Golladay finished the season with 37 receptions and 521 receiving yards, but did not find the end zone in 14 games played. 

“To be honest, me just looking back, I would just say just not good enough on my part,” Golladay said. “Not saying I was playing terrible or anything, but I expect more. Yeah, just not good enough.”

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Golladay suffered a hamstring injury in training camp, and also missed three games with a knee injury. 

“I came into the season saying that the expectations were high,” Golladay said. “The ‘what ifs,’ that’s always valid, pretty much. That’s all you can really say is ‘what if.’“

As a result of the Giants' disappointing 4-13 record, head coach Joe Judge was relieved of his duties. 

Golladay expressed his chemistry with quarterback Daniel Jones was not where it needed to be and injuries impeded their ability to improve the passing game during practice. 

“That’s something else I kind of said early on, pretty much gaining his trust. If I’m not out there on the field or he’s not out there on the field, there’s only so much trust you can really get without him actually trying to force the ball to me. It’s going to make him look bad,” Golladay said. “We don’t have that same type of chemistry and him knowing and the coaches knowing that I would go up and make that play. It’s easy to look and say, ‘Yeah, he made a lot of those catches in Detroit.' But, if I haven’t made not one here, then that’s not a good play, and you shouldn’t do it.”

In stark contrast, rookie wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown secured 90 receptions for 912 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. 

"With Kenny, I’ve always stated that, very, very talented receiver, but we pretty much knew that, as with pretty much every year in terms of free agency and the draft, that it’s relatively deep in both spots. There was a few different factors that went into it. But, at the end of the day, it was just making the right decision for the Lions, both not only short-term but more importantly long-term," Holmes said. "So, that was a decision that we came to, but wish Kenny nothing but the best in New York and was happy to see that he got a good deal."