3 WRs the Detroit Lions could sign to replace Jameson Williams

On Friday, Ian Rapoport, followed by a million others, ruined our lunch by reporting that Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams has been suspended six games for violating the NFL's gambling policy. With Williams out until Week 7 of the 2023 season, the Lions will likely be bringing in another receiver either via free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Mock Draft Quentin Johnson Poona Ford Will Anderson Jr. Trey Lance Jameson Williams

Key Points

  • Williams has been suspended for six games for violating the NFL's gambling policy
  • The Lions will likely need to sign another receiver via free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft to replace Williams
  • Three free-agent wide receivers that the Lions could consider are Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, and Breshad Perriman, but the options are slim pickings as none of them are expected to replicate Williams' skills on the field.
  • Landry, at 30 years old, has experience as a veteran slot receiver and could be signed for a low cost, while Jones' production has dropped off significantly and Perriman may be a potential option due to his previous familiarity with the Lions.
  • Overall, the Lions may have to consider drafting a new receiver to add to their roster instead of relying solely on free agency to replace Williams' contributions to the team.

3 WRs the Detroit Lions could sign to replace Jameson Williams

First of all, let's be clear about something. There is not a single wide receiver left in free agency, or that could be drafted, who would be able to replicate what Williams can do on a football field. Williams has off-the-chart speed, and he has the God-given abilities to become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. That being said, there are a few free-agent WRs that Brad Holmes could consider to help out the offense until Williams is back in Week 7. Here are three free-agent wide receivers the Lions could sign to replace Williams.

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Jarvis Landry

At 30 years old, Landry is an experienced slot receiver, but he does lack the ability to stretch the field like Williams could if he was available. After missing most of the 2022 season due to injury the Lions could almost certainly sign Landry for a rather cheap one-year deal. Landry's reputation as a respected veteran leader could also benefit a team with young offensive players. Although he's had a couple of rough seasons, Landry was one of the best slot receivers in the league from 2015 to 2020, leading in various statistics including 3,938 receiving yards, 1,748 yards after the catch, 1,166 yards after contact, and 91 explosive receptions of 15 or more yards.

Julio Jones

Yep. Julio Jones. Folks, you can kind of see what kind of options are currently left in free agency when it comes to wide receivers. Jones, who is now 34, was once one of the great wide receivers in the NFL. That being said his production has dropped off severely since making six-straight Pro Bowls between 2014-2019. During the 2022 season, Jones had just 24 catches for 299 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games with the Buccaneers.

Breshad Perriman

Perriman could potentially be a player the Lions would consider as they already have a familiarity with him. The Lions previously signed Perriman back in March of 2021 before eventually cutting him just before the 2021 season. Perriman, who is 29, played in 11 games for the Buccaneers in 2022, catching nine passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Bottom Line: Slim pickings for free-agent wide receivers

When you look up and down the free-agent wide receivers who are still available, it is a pretty painful exercise, as Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes certainly knows. But, if the Lions would like to add a veteran to the mix to hold down the fort until Williams returns, Landry, Jones, or Perriman could be options. I would not expect any of them to come in and light the world on fire, which means the Lions may decide to add a receiver in the draft.

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