“Multiple league sources have told me Golladay will get the tag after his relationship with the prior regime in Detroit got rocky over prolonged contract negotiations,” La Canfora wrote. “Could this be an eventual tag and trade? People around the league wouldn’t rule that out, with the Lions rebuilding and trying to amass picks.”
Golladay, who is set to be a free agent this offseason, is projected to be signed to the franchise tag for around $16 million, per the report. This means that the emerging star receiver will stay in Detroit on a one-year contract.
Golladay has expressed interest in returning to Detroit on a long-term deal. However, his future is uncertain due to the impending rebuild.
Here are two pros and two cons of the Lions’ reported decision to franchise tag Golladay.
The Lions give Jared Goff a legitimate No. 1 receiver
In his time with the Lions, Golladay has proven to be a top threat within the offense.
Over four seasons, he’s hauled in 183 catches for 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns. He’s made plenty of highlight-reel-type grabs, and he emerged as former Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford’s top target during a breakout 2019 season that saw Golladay earn Pro Bowl honors.
Golladay has gone over 1,000 yards receiving in two seasons, including during that 2019 campaign.
With the Lions set to rebuild, putting their new quarterback in an offense that returns its top receiving threat bodes well for the unit’s success.
Additionally, as La Canfora points out, Golladay could be traded to help the Lions build draft capital to bolster their rebuild.
A chance for Golladay to prove his worth
By staying in Detroit, Golladay locks himself into top receiver status for the upcoming season. Because of this, Golladay will be the focal point of the offense, as long as he stays healthy.
This season offers him the opportunity to live up to the potential he’s shown and to set himself up to become a top priority in next year’s free-agent market.
There's no doubt that Golladay has proven his abilities. But, he is coming off a quiet year.
If he's able to flourish in new Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn’s system, this one-year boost may be enough to allow him to earn top dollar next offseason.
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By receiving the franchise tag, Golladay is locked in to be with the organization for only 2021.
Although he’s expressed desire to sign a long-term deal in Detroit, it’s unclear whether Golladay wants to be around for what projects to be a lengthy rebuild.
With new leaders in place, the offense may take a new identity.
The days of Golladay catching long passes may be over, as it’s hard to imagine Goff making the throws that Stafford could make.
If the 2021 season results in Golladay not getting the numbers he wants, it could signal the end of his time in Detroit.
A good year may make him difficult to keep
While keeping Golladay around is a good choice, kicking the can down the road for a year may make this decision tougher.
As mentioned earlier, a good season could boost his price tag past what the Lions desire to pay him.
Granted, the Lions could decide to cut some extra costs to keep Golladay around past 2021.
It essentially boils down to two factors: Will Golladay want to stick around and be a part of the rebuild, and can Detroit afford him, should he want to stay?
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