The Detroit Lions signed veteran wide receiver Jermaine Kearse on Thursday to a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million.
Kearse’s 2018 campaign with the New York Jets was lackluster, catching 37 passes for 371 yards and one touchdown, an boasting a mediocre 48.7 catch percentage. The Lions are hopeful his reunion with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was Kearse’s offensive coordinator in Seattle, will get Kearse back on track.
Fortunately for the Lions, Kearse wasn’t brought in to be a stud, but rather a role player. His name will be inked in at the No. 4 spot on Detroit’s depth chart and there’s a good chance that he will only be brought in when the Lions are going five wide depending on how rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson is utilized.
The Kearse signing gives Detroit one of the more complete receiving corps in the NFL, with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola rounding out the crew.
Golladay, who was a third-round pick in 2017, has emerged as the best wide receiver on the roster. With Golden Tate getting traded and Jones Jr. going down with an injury last year, quarterback Matthew Stafford relied heavily on Golladay, who proved he could be a true No. 1 in the NFL.
Golladay hauled in 70 passes for 1063 yards and five touchdowns in his second season and with Jones Jr. and Amendola on the field with him this year, expect those numbers to rise.
Jones Jr. is coming back from a knee injury that landed him on IR and forced him to miss seven game last year. It’s not impossible for Jones Jr. to be the lead man in Detroit, but he has thrived as the No. 2 throughout his career. In Cincinnati he was behind A.J. Green and the past three years he's been behind Golden Tate.
Since his emergence in 2013, Jones Jr. has been averaging 45 catches a year for 678 yards and five touchdowns, great numbers as a second option.
The Lions went out and got Stafford a security blanket this offseason. Amendola is expected to have a huge impact from the slot this year. The 10-year veteran is the definition of consistent. He’s never caught less than 62 percent of his targets and has 160 receptions on first down, 159 on second and 160 on third.
Having a viable threat like Amendola, who can take advantage of teams underneath, will open the field up for the dynamic duo of Golladay and Jones Jr.
In 2018, Detroit carried six receivers on their active roster throughout the season and had five dressed for game day. The question becomes who will take the final two spots?
Expect there to be a four-way battle once training camp begins between Tommylee Lewis, Brandon Powell, Andy Jones and Travis Fulgham.
Lewis joins the Lions after a stint with New Orleans where he was primarily a punt returner. In 30 games, he’s tallied 252 yards on 20 receptions with two touchdowns. It&