Lions Suggested as Possible Landing Spot for $100 Million WR

The Detroit Lions surprised some draft analysts by not selecting a wide receiver in the 2024 NFL draft. The Lions added undrafted free agents Jalon Calhoun and Isaiah Williams, but pundits will likely connect the team to veteran wideouts still available in the free agent market this summer. NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal did that on April 29. Rosenthal tweeted that the Lions “stand out” as a potential fit for veteran Odell Beckham Jr.

“OBJ profiles as a 500 snap role player,” Rosenthal wrote. “The Steelers and Lions stand out as two teams that could use outside wideout help to round out their groups.”

Beckham had a very productive 2023 season coming off an ACL injury which sidelined him for all of 2022. With the Baltimore Ravens, Beckham posted 35 catches, 565 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in 14 games.

Behind that production, he set a new career-high with 16.1 yards per reception.

Over 10 years in the NFL, Beckham has recorded 566 catches, 7,932 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns. According to Spotrac, he has made slightly more than $100 million in his NFL career.

Why Odell Beckham Jr. Could Fit With the Lions

Detroit lost veteran receiver Josh Reynolds to the Denver Broncos in NFL free agency. Last season, Reynolds was second among the team’s wideouts in the major statistical categories.

Head coach Dan Campbell challenged third-year wideout Jameson Williams to step up and replace Reynolds in 2024. The Lions also have Donovan Peoples-Jones who could emerge in a bigger role this fall.

But adding a proven commodity with more recent production wouldn’t be a bad idea for a team expected to be a top Super Bowl contender.

Beckham has recorded five 1,000-yard campaigns during his career. He’s also posted at least 70 catches in five seasons.

Beckham isn’t that receiver anymore, but the Lions don’t need him to be an All-Pro for him to be a worthwhile addition. Lions wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown has emerged as one of the top receivers in the NFL. Furthermore, tight end Sam LaPorta and running back Jahmyr Gibbs recorded stellar rookie seasons as pass catchers in 2023 for Detroit.

Williams, Peoples-Jones and Kalif Raymond are currently solid depth receivers. Williams could potentially be more than that too if he reaches his first-round potential.

Therefore, Beckham potentially fits with the Lions as a replacement for Reynolds’ production. Beckham could serve as a reliable secondary target with some big-play potential.

Other Potential WR Additions for Lions

Even though minicamps are quickly approaching for NFL teams, there are still veteran receiving options available in free agency if an organization such as the Lions sees a need.

On April 28, Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon called the Lions one of two potential landing spots for former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

Boyd is younger than Beckham. He also had better statistics than Beckham last season. In 17 games with the Bengals during 2023, Boyd posted 67 receptions, 667 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

However, Boyd might not be the best fit from a schematic standpoint. According to Pro Football Focus, he played more than 80% of his receiver snaps in the slot. Last year, Reynolds played about 35% of his snaps at wideout in the slot.

Boyd’s production would be a great addition to the Lions offense. But in a perfect world, Detroit needs to add an outside receiving threat if they make an addition at wideout.

That likely makes Beckham a better fit than Boyd.

Michael Thomas, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and DJ Chark are other veteran receivers available in free agency who could play an outside role for the Lions.

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