The Detroit Lions are adding to their wide-receiving core by taking a one-year, $10 million flyer on DJ Chark, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old has spent each of his four professional seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars but appeared in only four games last season due to a fractured ankle.
With a franchise known for its dysfunction and — for the better part of his tenure there — quarterback instability, Chark was still a productive playmaker in Jacksonville.
He burst onto the scene in just his second NFL season with 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games, following that up with 706 yards and five scores in 13 games in 2020.
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In those four games with rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Chark failed to show much of a connection. He was targeted just 5.5 times per game, accruing seven receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns before his injury.
Chark enters just as uncertain of a quarterback situation in Detroit considering Jared Goff failed to prove that he could be the franchise’s No. 1 man under center after being acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in the Matthew Stafford deal.
It could lead to the Lions selecting a quarterback at some point at the 2022 NFL Draft. Their No. 2 pick is likely going to address the defensive line, but with the No. 32 pick, a quarterback could be in the cards.
The hope in Detroit is that Chark could create a solid 1-2 punch alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown, who broke out for 90 receptions, 912 yards, and five touchdowns during his rookie season after being selected in the fourth round out of USC. It helped cushion the blow of losing Kenny Golladay, who signed with the New York Giants ahead of the 2021 season after four years with the team.