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Lions WR Kenny Golladay not fretting new contract

Kenny Golladay knows his payday is coming down the road.

The Detroit Lions receiver enters the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. A third-round pick, he's been playing for peanuts compared to his worth. Golladay had a base salary of $676,000 in 2019. He gets a bump to $2.144 million in 2020. It's a nice raise, but still far below his value to the Lions offense.

Golladay, however, isn't fretting his next contract, telling Doug Farrar of USA Today's Touchdown Wire he knows it's coming at some point.

"I wouldn't mind being in Detroit for a while. Everything should work itself out. I'm enjoying myself," Golladay said.

With the Lions currently juggling the future of several key players, including star corner Darius Slay, the question is whether Detroit looks to lock down Golladay this offseason or waits another year, which would put a potential franchise tag into play.

Eleven wide receivers averaged $15 million per season on their contracts in 2019. Golladay deserves to leap into this group soon.

The 26-year-old wideout generated 1,190 yards on 65 receptions with 11 TDs in 2019. He ranked sixth in the NFL in yards, and only rookie A.J. Brown averaged more yards per catch than Golladay's 18.3 among all wideouts with 50 or more catches. Golladay also led all WRs in TD catches, was second in 20-plus-yard receptions (22), and tied for sixth in 40-plus yarders (6).

When quarterback Matthew Stafford went down with injury after eight games, it would have been natural for Golladay's production to fall off. It did not. Despite games with Jeff Driskel and David Blough slinging pigskins, Golladay continued to put up numbers and be a big-play threat.

"To be honest, I went through a lot of quarterbacks when I was in college," he told Farrar. "And I know college and the NFL are totally different, but really, it's just about being there before. When our top guy went out, that's when other guys had to step up. People are going to look more to you, and you can't shy away from it, really. You gotta just ... let's go."

With Amari Cooper, A.J. Green, Emmanuel Sanders, and other receivers set to hit the free agency in March, Golladay can see how the receiver market shapes up before considering a new deal in Detroit. There is no question, however, that the big-play wideout has earned a payday. The question is whether that comes now or later.

For the Lions, waiting will only make it more expensive to keep Golladay in Honolulu Blue.

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