Kenny Golladay free agency 2021: Latest news, rumors, scouting report and interested teams


The free agent wide receiver class is as deep as it’s been in quite some time. Every which way you look you can find a handful of pass catchers that could rival to be the No. 1 option in a club’s passing attack right out of the gate. It’s in that grouping where you’ll find Detroit Lions receiver Kenny Golladay, who is possibly about to enter into unrestricted free agency this offseason. All things being equal, you could even make the case that he’s the top option at his position during this cycle, which sets him up to receive quite the payday in one form or another. 

In this space, we’re going to dive into every nugget of news, rumors, and scouting reports for Golladay and update them as he nears the start of the new league year and, with it, free agency. We’ll also dive into some of our favorite landing spots for the 2019 Pro Bowl receiver if he’s able to shake loose from Detroit 

Top free agent landing spots for Golladay

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that multiple league sources have told him the Detroit Lions are expected to place the franchise tag on Golladay, essentially preventing him from hitting the open market. As La Canfora suggests, however, the tag could still result in Golladay playing elsewhere in 2021, albeit with the Detroit trading him to a destination to gain assets during their retooling. If they decide to tag and keep Golladay, they’d pair him with quarterback Jared Goff, whom they acquired in the trade that sent Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles. 

As for teams interested in Golladay, the New York Jets are one of the first that come to mind. They have plenty of cap space and draft capital to either sign him if he hits the free agent market or trade for him if the Lions hit him with the tag. There is still uncertainty of who will be the Jets’ quarterback in 2021 but adding Golladay will be a significant boost to a passing attack that was lacking some star power with Sam Darnold under center in 2020. 

The Baltimore Ravens are another team that should be extremely interested in bringing in a talent such as Golladay. While they have a prolific offense thanks to Lamar Jackson’s rushing ability, the passing game is still lacking. In 2020, they averaged a league-low 171.2 passing yards per game. In an era where the passing attack is king, that simply needs to improve, which Baltimore could do by adding Golladay, who has two 1,000-yard receiving seasons under his belt. He’d instantly be the top option for Jackson and a strong complement to tight end Mark Andrews and fellow receiver Hollywood Brown. 

Of course, with a player such as Golladay — who is from Chicago and went to Northern Illinois — you do have to look at the hometown ties and wonder if playing for the Bears is something he is interested in. While the quarterback situation isn’t exactly clear at the moment, Chicago could be looking to replace Allen Robinson, who is also poised to reach unrestricted free agency. 

Finally, the New England Patriots would love to bring in a receiver the likes of Golladay to help boost the overall talent level of their pass-catching group, which was less than stellar in 2020. Golladay’s elite route-running is exactly the type of skillset the Patriots offense values and could prove to be an ideal successor to Julian Edelman

  • Detroit Lions
  • New York Jets
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Chicago Bears
  • New England Patriots

Scouting report (pros and cons)

Pros:

  • Crisp route-runner
  • Can create separation
  • Can play as the outside receiver or come inside
  • Has breakaway speed

Cons:

  • Hip injury kept him out most of 2020
  • Has a 58.1 catch percentage over his career

Free agent timeline

Feb 22: On the eve of the franchise-tag window opening up across the league, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Golladay continues to be a prime candidate to be tagged. Rapoport notes that the Lions and their star receiver tried to work on an extension last year but it ultimately didn’t happen. They’ll try again this year, but if they cannot come to terms the tag is expected. 





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