Josh Reynolds ‘would love my future to be here’, but what would that cost the Lions?

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Josh Reynolds has been a real boon to the Detroit Lions lineup since joining the team in Week 11. The veteran wideout has caught 16 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns in the last four games.

Many expected Reynolds to be a Lions target before the midseason acquisition, given his history with Detroit GM Brad Holmes from their time together with the Los Angeles Rams. But Reynolds opted to roll with the Tennessee Titans instead as a free agent.

That did not work well at all. Fortunately the Lions pounced once the Titans ended the failed experiment, and it’s been a happily ever after storyline since. Reynolds hopes to keep that status into next year.

The wideout sat down with Lions play-by-play radio announcer Dan Miller for FOX2 in Detroit and made that clear.

“I would love my future to be here with Detroit,” Reynolds said earnestly. “Man, being able to just kind of continue to grow with this team and help this organization win. I mean, it don’t get no better.”

So what would it take to keep Reynolds in Detroit? He’ll be a free agent once again this offseason.

Last year he earned a one-year, $1.75 million deal as a free agent. That deal came after Reynolds, who turned 26 in February, caught 52 passes for 618 yards and two TDs for the Rams in 2020.

Based on his four-game pace in Detroit, Reynolds would eclipse all those numbers in a full season. His Lions stats extrapolate similarly to what Kendrick Bourne produced in San Francisco before signing a three-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots. Keelan Cole turned a 55-catch, five-TD season with the Jaguars in 2020 into a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Jets in the same offseason.

Other recent comparable production and contracts from wideouts include Rashard Higgins in Cleveland, Danny Amendola with the Texans and Albert Wilson with the Dolphins, though all of those players were older than Reynolds at the time of signing.

Taking Reynolds at his word, with the knowledge that he now better understands the need for a good fit, it’s conceivable he settles for a slightly below-market deal. That would put his next contract (hopefully in Detroit) in the range of 2 years and $6.5 million. If he finishes strong, bump that up to $7 million, or a 3-year, $11 million deal with more (if not all) guaranteed money.

The Lions can absolutely afford that figure to bring Reynolds back. Presuming Jared Goff, who has perked up since Reynolds’ arrival, returns as the quarterback for at least the beginning of 2022, that’s a prudent deal for everyone involved.

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