Five Potential Landing Spots for Kenny Golladayby Andersen Pickard March 11, 2021 0 comments
For the first time in his career, Kenny Golladay is set to hit the open market. The Detroit Lions decided not to franchise tag the star receiver on Tuesday, making him an unrestricted free agent. He can negotiate with any team starting on Monday, March 15 at 12 p.m. EST.
Which five teams could make a run at Golladay’s services?
The Ravens are frequently mentioned as a team in need of wide receiver help. Signing Golladay to complement Marquise Brown and help Lamar Jackson makes plenty of sense considering Baltimore’s status as a perennial contender. With $24.1 million in cap space and plenty of room to shed more salary in the coming days, it would come as no surprise to see Baltimore pursue Golladay.
For the Ravens, it’s all about finding a balance. They are set at quarterback and tight end. In addition to the receiving corps, Baltimore’s offensive line could use some solidification this offseason, especially if Orlando Brown is traded. The Ravens will also look to add depth at running back with Gus Edwards hitting the open market. Meanwhile, defensively, Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue are both free agents. Baltimore is clearly committed to building a strong defense, so they might spend a handsome sum of money on the unit. This does not leave much room for signing Golladay, so while the fit is evident, the logistics could be harder to work around.
New York Jets
With Breshad Perriman hitting the open market and Jamison Crowder being a cut candidate, New York’s receiving corps is looking fairly thin. That all could change, though, with the addition of Golladay. It’s been widely speculated that the Jets will make a splash at receiver; the team has been linked to Will Fuller and JuJu Smith-Schuster. However, Golladay is an even better player than those two, and New York has the money to spend with a whopping $70 million in cap space.
The biggest hurdle in negotiations would likely be the Jets’ current status. They are 23-57 over the last five seasons and still far from being contenders. However, there are signs of optimism. New York moved on from head coach Adam Gase this past offseason, replacing him with well-respected mastermind Robert Saleh. Furthermore, with plenty of money to spend, the Jets may choose to be aggressive this offseason. Finally, they own two first-round draft picks, including the No. 2 selection, which could be used to draft a new franchise quarterback. Golladay will have his choice of landing spots, so while the Jets can’t offer an immediate playoff berth, they do have the money and promise that Golladay could be looking for.
New England Patriots
It wouldn’t be an NFL offseason without the Patriots being linked to a big-name wide receiver. Things are dreary in New England after Tom Brady‘s departure led to a 7-9 season under Cam Newton. New England also lacked an alpha wideout, with Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd taking over as the starters following an injury to Julian Edelman.
It would be unlike Bill Belichick to pay big money for a receiver, but these are unprecedented times for the legendary head coach and general manager, whose squad had made the playoffs in 17 of 20 seasons prior to this year. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Patriots have $70.1 million in cap space. This might be a longshot, and New England’s recent hire of Matt Patricia to the coaching staff could understandably scare off Golladay. Nevertheless, the Patriots are a prime landing spot in hopes of turning things around and playing football in Jan. 2022.
Washington Football Team
Golladay to Washington is a sneaky good fit that just might make sense. The defense is already elite, so the unit won’t need too much in terms of financial splashes this offseason. Offensively, running back and tight end are all set. You can never have too strong of an offensive line, but the team did franchise tag Brandon Scherff, so the trenches won’t see any major additions. That leaves quarterback and receiver. Washington moved on from Alex Smith and will need to bring in someone to compete with Taylor Heinicke. This could come via the draft, which would save money for the Football Team to bring in a receiver.
With $39 million in cap space, Washington must be cautiously aggressive. They have the money to spend and can be legitimate contenders next year, but money runs out fast. Still, adding Golladay would be quite attractive for a unit that already employs Terry McLaurin. The two, along with 2020 standouts Antonio Gibson and Logan Thomas, could come together to create a dynamic offense around whoever takes snaps for the team next year. The biggest obstacle here is Washington’s cap space. They have money to spend, but they might decide to sign a cheaper player like Curtis Samuel, who played under Ron Rivera in Carolina, or Marvin Jones Jr., who complemented Golladay nicely in Detroit.
Last but not least, the Jaguars pose as an intriguing landing spot. With an NFL-most $73 million in cap space, the Jaguars have the opportunity to be aggressive this winter. Adding weapons to surround Trevor Lawrence on offense while also bolstering the defense will be crucial. With two picks in the first round of the draft, Jacksonville will add a quarterback and one other player (presumably defense or offensive line). They still need a tight end, help on defense, and fortification at wide receiver.
Signing Golladay would be more than enough fortification. Welcoming Lawrence to the NFL with Golladay, D.J. Chark Jr., and Laviska Shenault Jr. is extraordinary, and doing so would still likely leave Jacksonville with roughly $50 in cap space. Like with the Jets, one hurdle to clear here would be the attractiveness of playing in Jacksonville. They went 1-15 this past season and clearly have some gaping holes. However, one could argue that they show plenty of potential. (After all, who wouldn’t want to catch passes from Trevor Lawrence?) Plus, they can give Golladay the money that he wants and entice him with the idea that they will spend aggressively to strengthen the entire team.
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