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Lions WR Kenny Golladay considered strong candidate for franchise tag

The NFL's franchise tag window opens Tuesday with several high-profile players candidates to be tagged if sides can't reach a long-term agreement before the deadline in two weeks.

Along with Dak Prescott and Chris Godwin, Detroit Lions receiver Kenny Golladay is a prime candidate to get franchise tagged in the coming weeks.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL NOW on Monday that Golladay is a strong candidate to get the tag.

"Another strong franchise tag candidate," Rapoport said of Golladay. "I know they had talks last year about a long-term extension. Did not happen. Going to try again this year. But expect him to be tagged if they don't get a deal."

Golladay played in just five games in 2020 due to injury, generating 338 yards and two TDs on 20 catches. The injury-plagued season came off back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard seasons, including an NFL-high 11 touchdown receptions in 2019, his lone Pro Bowl year.

The receiver's future is the second big decision new Lions general manager Brad Holmes will make after agreeing to trade Matthew Stafford.

Golladay is a playmaker on the outside who can win on mid-range routes and deep. The 6-foot-4 wideout has the size and hands scouts seek in young receivers. Golladay has averaged 16.8 yards per reception in his four-year career in Detroit, the second-highest in the NFL since he entered the league in 2017, per Next Gen Stats. His 9.7 yards per target places him tied for sixth among receivers over that span (tied with Julio Jones).

The 27-year-old is in line for a big payday should the Lions not utilize the franchise tag. It's also possible Detroit could look at a tag-and-trade scenario with the wideout as it looks to cobble together assets for a rebuild.

Nearly the entire Lions receiver corps is slated to be free agents. Along with Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Mohamed Sanu and Jamal Agnew are also heading toward the open market.

Keeping Golladay in Detroit would ensure at least one go-to receiver for presumptive quarterback Jared Goff. If the Lions don't tag or re-sign Golladay, Detroit's receiving corps would be the slimmest in the NFL heading into the new league year. 

The franchise tag window opens Tuesday, Feb. 23 and runs through March 9.

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