The NFL franchise tag deadline has come and gone. And one of the biggest surprises was that the Lions refused to place the tag on their No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay.
Following the trade of franchise passer Matthew Stafford, Detroit is the latest team to embark on what could be another long rebuilding process. And paying an oft-injured 27-year-old receiver north of $15 million per year doesn't make sense for their timeline.
But the Lions' loss is the rest of the NFL's gain.
The 6-foot-4 receiver is the top pass catcher available in free agency after Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin were franchise tagged by the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively.
While the salary cap might have gone down 8%, there will still be plenty of teams interested in the contested-catch aficionado. But what are his best landing spots? We picked the five he should consider.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals' top priority this offseason is to protect Joe Burrow, who is coming off a season-ending knee injury. Their second priority? Stockpiling offensive weapons for the former LSU quarterback.
Adding Golladay to a receiver core that already features rookie star Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd would give Burrow three strong options in the passing game while freeing up the Bengals to use the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on an offensive lineman such as Oregon's Penei Sewell or Northwestern's Rashawn Slater.
The Bengals need to capitalize on having a franchise quarterback on a rookie contract by adding talent around him wherever they can. It's not often a No. 1-type receiver becomes available and it's time for the Bengals to pounce.
4. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are on the rise.
Despite having a roster bereft of offensive playmakers, Miami was knocking on the door of the playoff last season. And like the Bengals, the 'Fins need to do whatever they can to ensure that Tua Tagovailoa is successful.
The easiest way to do that, outside of building up the Dolphins' offensive line, is by adding a top-flight receiver like Golladay.
While Golladay might be redundant to DeVante Parker as both are jump-ball specialists, the two could combine to Tua's safety blankets and one of the most physically imposing wideout duos in the league.
If the Dolphins can reel in Golladay, they can either take an offensive lineman at No. 3 or trade back with a QB-needy team for a plethora of assets.
3. New York Jets
New York has plenty of cap space and Jets general manager Joe Douglas must spend it wisely.
Right now, the Jets' cupboard is pretty bare concerning long-term building blocks. Left tackle Mekhi Becton is an absolute monster while Quinnen Williams is slowly becoming an unstoppable force on the defensive line, but the franchise needs a massive infusion of talent — especially at the pass-catcher spot.
Adding Golladay to a group that features Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder would be a solid trio for either Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson or a rookie QB.
2. Los Angeles Chargers
The mere thought of Golladay catching bombs from Justin Herbert must be a frightening prospect for the rest of the league. Golladay averaged 90 air yards per game last season, and Herbert showcased an elite ability to put the ball anywhere he wanted in his electric rookie season.
With Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen already entrenched as quality chain movers in the short to intermediate range, Golladay could focus on taking the top off a defense through deep bombs, where he can use his massive frame to bully opposing cornerbacks.
With the expected loss of Hunter Henry and the uncertain future of Mike Williams, the Chargers could use another weapon on offense. And Golladay would be a perfect fit for Herbert's transcendent deep passes.
1. Indianapolis Colts
Fresh off making a splash by acquiring Carson Wentz, the Colts have more work to do and more than $46 million in cap space to work with.
It appears as if their longtime stalwart at the receiver position TY Hilton is ready to move on. The speedy wide out has dealt with nagging injuries the past few seasons, and his production has dropped off.
While Michael Pittman Jr. had himself a solid if unspectacular rookie campaign, adding someone like Golladay is a different story. He'd be a great weapon for Wentz, who could use all the help he can get as he tries to rebuild his career.
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