The Detroit Lions and general manager Brad Holmes have a number of roster decisions to make, but the wide receiver position in particular could see some significant changes this offseason.
Holmes has to make a decision on impending unrestricted free agent Kenny Golladay, who Holmes said Tuesday is definitely a No. 1 receiver in this league, but Holmes was noncommittal about the use of the franchise tag on Golladay by the March 9 deadline, or on any long-term contract talks the team and Golladay's camp might be discussing.
Detroit's two other leading receivers from last season – Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola – are also slated to become unrestricted free agents this offseason.
As it stands right now, rookie Quintez Cephus, who caught 20 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns, is the only receiver with a reception in 2020 under contract for the 2021 season.
When asked about Golladay and the receiver position, it was interesting to hear Holmes talk about how quickly a team can rebuild that position group in today's NFL. Holmes saw firsthand how it could be done in his previous front office role with the Los Angeles Rams.
"I know that you probably look at the roster now and say, 'Well, who are you going to add? It looks thin at that position,'" Holmes said in a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday. "But I will say my experience even back with the Rams, I want to say it was probably 2017, that our receiver room flipped pretty quickly within a year. The Rams were able to add some quality pieces pretty quickly."
In 2016, Los Angeles was led in receiving by Kenny Britt, who caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. Tavon Austin (43 catches for 509 yards) and Brian Quick (41 & 564) were second and third at receiver, respectively.
But heading into the 2017 offseason, the Rams completely retooled the position. They signed Robert Woods as a free agent from Buffalo, and drafted Cooper Cupp (third round) and Josh Reynolds (fourth round). Those three have since become a very productive and reliable trio for the Rams for the last four seasons.
In just one offseason, the Rams completely reshaped that receiver room. Could we see something similar in Detroit this offseason under Holmes' leadership?
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal recently released a list of the top 25 free agents this offseason. Five receivers were on the list, including Golladay. Rosenthal also listed three receivers who just missed the cut. It's a good free agent class of receivers.
This year's draft class is also loaded at receiver. Nine receivers made NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's list of the top 50 players in this year's draft class.
"Obviously from a receiver standpoint, there's some decisions that still have to be made in regards to how we'll approach it with Kenny (Golladay) and obviously adding more pieces there and depth there," Holmes said.
But the great thing here when we talk about the receiver position in Detroit is Holmes has experience doing it once before with the Rams.
"To be able to follow a similar kind of blueprint or path or having the experience of how that works and being involved in that process," Holmes said. "Is something (head coach) Dan (Campbell) and I feel confident about us being able to take a similar process."