Detroit Lions reward Kalif Raymond with contract extension
According to a report from Ian Rapoport, the Detroit Lions have rewarded WR Kalif Raymond with a contract extension. Rapoport tweeted just moments ago that the Lions have given Raymond a 2-year contract extension that will make him one of the highest-paid return specialists in the NFL.
Why It Matters
For those of you who have followed Kalif Raymond since he joined the Lions, you are well aware of the fact that he could be one of the most underrated players in the league.
Raymond is Elite at Creating Separation
Here is what Pro Football Focus has to say about Raymond when it comes to creating separation on his routes.
“This is a guy who is elite in our separation metrics,” Fortgang said. “You’re looking at the names: Stefon Diggs and Cooper Kupp and Garrett Wilson and Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, CeeDee Lamb. Right up there with them is Kalif Raymond.”
“This is not a guy who is like a fluke, one-off thing,” he continued. “He’s been doing this every year that he has enough snaps to qualify on our leaderboard, and he was No. 1 in our separation metric. This is a guy who is absolutely elite separating in man. It’ll be very interesting to see if he can kind of jump on this opportunity, as we talked about, the vacuum of targets for the Lions. Definitely one I’m interested in, and this dude absolutely pops kinda out of nowhere.”
By the Numbers
Raymond, now in his third season with the Lions, was honored with an AP Second-Team All-Pro selection as a punt returner in 2022. Joining Detroit in 2021 as an unrestricted free agent, he has since played in 33 games, starting 21 of them. With the Lions, he has caught 95 passes, amassing 1,192 yards and four touchdowns. Additionally, he has returned 41 punts for over 500 yards (12.2 yards per return) and one touchdown.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Kalif Raymond's Contract Extension:
- The Detroit Lions have chosen to recognize the value of WR/KR Kalif Raymond by granting him a 2-year contract extension. This move, as highlighted by Ian Rapoport's report, has positioned Raymond among the top earners in the league, especially for kick return specialists.
- Raymond's Underrated Status:
- While Raymond may not have garnered the widespread attention he arguably deserves, those familiar with his journey and performance in the Lions are aware of his potential and skills, deeming him one of the league's underrated talents.
- Prowess in Creating Separation:
- Pro Football Focus has drawn attention to Raymond's exceptional ability to create separation during his routes. Comparing him with big names like Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, and Cooper Kupp, Raymond is not only part of this elite group but has also consistently ranked high in separation metrics.
Bottom Line: Rewarding Hard Work And Talent
The Detroit Lions have made a strategic move by extending Kalif Raymond's contract, elevating him among the league's top-paid kick return specialists. Despite being an often overlooked talent, Raymond's remarkable skill set, particularly his elite ability to create separation during routes, has set him apart. Benchmarked with eminent players like Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill by Pro Football Focus, Raymond's consistent performance signals that he's not just a fleeting talent but a steadfast asset for the Lions, worthy of recognition and investment.