On the same day the Lions officially welcomed an under-the-radar signing to bolster their changing receiving corps, they're likely saying goodbye to their best option at the position.
Detroit does not plan on franchise tagging receiver Kenny Golladay, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source informed of the situation. The team hasn't made a final decision on whether it will use the tag at all, but it won't be on the receiver, Pelissero added.
The Lions will also forgo using the tag on edge rusher Romeo Okwara, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per an informed source.
The move signals Golladay's departure for the free-agent market, where he'll command a healthy salary that almost certainly won't be with the Lions, who are currently not in a position to sign anyone with significant compensation due to cap space limitations. It also means the Lions are likely going to be hamstrung at the position, which won't exactly help ease their transition into the start of the Jared Goff era in Detroit.
There's time to make moves to change that reality, of course, but it doesn't look great on paper. General manager Brad Holmes told reporters a week ago his team would not rush any significant decision, which includes a future with Golladay. There's still time to get a long-term deal done, but the lack of cap space available makes that highly unlikely.
Golladay appeared in just five games for the woeful Lions in 2020, catching 20 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns after he'd posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and snagged a combined 16 touchdown receptions between 2018 and 2019. With Matthew Stafford gone for the sunny skies of Los Angeles and the Lions beginning a new era under coach Dan Campbell, perhaps it's best for Golladay to move on, too.