The Detroit Lions should bring back Josh Reynolds in 2022

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions receiver Josh Reynolds showed enough to earn a contract extension despite a quiet ending.

Reynolds re-joined his former quarterback Jared Goff in Detroit this season after being placed on waivers upon request by the Tennessee Titans. The pair enjoyed success with the Los Angeles Rams after Reynolds was selected 117th overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft; this was a year after the organization picked Goff first overall.

The Detroit Lions played the majority of the 2021 season receiver-starved, but this also allowed for the emergence of rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions lost second-year pass-catcher Quintez Cephus to injury after just five games. Cephus secured 15 of his 22 targets totaling 204 yards plus scored two touchdowns.

Entering the year, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had hoped veteran receivers Tyrell Williams and Breshard Perriman, who were both signed to one-year deals this past summer, would give Goff at least a couple of reliable pass-catchers to get through the year.

Unfortunately, neither worked out, plus Holmes’ project, Trinity Benson, also proved to be a bust. The Detroit Lions added Benson via trade from the Denver Broncos right before the start of the regular season.

At times, the Lions also got solid contributions from Kalif Raymond and KhaDarel Hodge. I would love to see Raymond hang around as a depth piece and return specialist but not as a primary option in the passing game like Detroit asked of him early on this season.

The Detroit Lions should re-sign Josh Reynolds this offseason.

One player Holmes should consider retaining if he’d be willing to accept another one-year deal is pending free agent Josh Reynolds.

Reynolds had been someone often linked to the Detroit Lions last offseason due to his familiarity with Goff and knowing the organization needed receivers.

The 26-year old gave the Lions a boost at the receiver position hauling in 19 receptions totaling 306 yards and two touchdowns over seven games. It really should be six games; Reynolds was pressed into duty immediately, not knowing the playbook, and was targeted just three times in his Detroit debut but failed to make a catch.  Plus, Goff didn’t play, it was Tim Boyle under center.

Reynolds didn’t appear in Detroit’s Week 17 matchup against the Seahawks because he was on the reserve/COVID-19 list but returned in Week 18 against the Packers but quietly finished the year. Reynolds caught one pass totaling 11 yards in Detroit’s 37-30 victory.

I don’t believe re-signing Reynolds is a deal-breaker by any means. Still, he’d serve as an excellent third/fourth option behind St. Brown, and hopefully, a free agent and possibly a top rookie playmaker selected late in the first round or early in round two.

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Reynolds finished the season catching 29 balls totaling 396 yards and two scores. Over his five-year career, he’s totaled 1,846 yards making 142 catches totaling 11 touchdowns. Reynolds is coming off a one-year deal that paid him $1.75 million. This is a very affordable deal. If he’d be willing to sign another one-year deal,  I’d be more than content with giving him a raise to $2-2.5 million.