Detroit Lions fans haven’t had much reason to be happy lately, but there’s also a glimmer of hope for fans of the traditional franchise. With Kenny Golladay, for example, one of the best receivers in the entire NFL is playing in “Motor City”, even if not everyone has noticed that yet. This should change at the latest with his new contract!
With eleven receiving touchdowns, Golladay led the entire league in 2019 and its 1190 receiving yards (NFL rank seven) were also a career best. Although star quarterback Matthew Stafford failed after eight games, Golladay reached the Pro Bowl for the first time. Not bad for a player who didn’t want a single top college team to give a football scholarship.
At the end of his high school career, Kenny Golladay only measured 1.80 meters and weighed less than 80 kilograms, and he was neither particularly fast nor particularly agile. So the interest of the Division I College Teams was limited to say the least. “I didn’t have a single offer,” recalls the 26-year-old.
The Detroit Lions found a real rough diamond in Kenny Golladay
The boy from Chicago’s Southside was just able to get a football scholarship from the University of North Dakota, a second-rate football school, but it was to be the starting signal for a steep career. He went through a growth spurt of 13 centimeters and subsequently worked obsessively on his skills. With success.
Even off the big stage, the professional scouts became aware of Golladay, first in rural North Dakota and later after a transfer to Northern Illinois University. The Lions brought him to Detroit after two seasons with more than 1000 receiving yards in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft and since then the shape curve has continued to rise steeply among the pros.
Early comparisons with Calvin Johnson leave Kenny Golladay cold
Kenny Golladay’s shadow existence is over at the latest after last year’s Pro Bowl season. A fact that does not cause problems for the rather shy receiver. “I’m exactly the same guy as before,” says the pro bowler with a smile. “I just do my job and I don’t really notice anything else that happens.”
Even when the Lions PR team grabbed him on a painting with their former receiver legend Calvin Johnson, it left him cold. “That was just a picture,” he smiles modestly, just as the Lions’ large hall-of-fame receiver always did. His way of playing reminds of “Megatron” every now and then, especially when he fights 50-50 balls against smaller cornerbacks.
Soon to be one of the highest paid wide receivers in the entire NFL?
“These situations are super important for me because I’m setting an example for my team and for my quarterback,” said Golladay, whose 18.3 yards per reception made him one of the three most dangerous deep threats in the NFL. “Then they know that they can fully rely on me and that creates trust.” With a fit Matthew Stafford, who is a gunslinger, he could get even more chances for those catches in 2020 than before.
Maybe he’ll have a new contract in his pocket. His current rookie deal is still running one season and the current annual salary is $ 2.1 million. While he was on the Lions Reserve / COVID-19 Reserve List yesterday, both sides are keen to renew the contract. With an extension, a value north of 15 million could soon be in the contract. And the fans of the Lions should then look forward to many more years with him …