Detroit Lions WR DJ Chark included on ‘most riding on contract year’ list

Detroit Lions wide receiver DJ Chark, who signed a 1-year, $10 million contract in the offseason, has everything to prove.

When the Detroit Lions offense takes the field for the first time in 2022, they will do so with a new wide receiver in the mix. That wide receiver is DJ Chark.

Heading into the offseason, many believed the Lions would make a big splash by signing a big-name wide receiver but instead of breaking the bank, GM Brad Holmes played it smart by signing a player with something to prove (Chark) to a short-term contract.

In fact, the Lions only gave Chark a 1-year, prove-it deal, which means that he has a ton of incentive to ball out in 2022, not only to get a long-term contract with the Lions but to show other teams around the league that he is worth paying the “big bucks.”

Detroit Lions WR DJ Chark included on ‘most riding on contract year' list

Pro Football Focus recently released a list of seven NFL players who have the most riding on their contract year and Detroit Lions wide receiver DJ Chark made the cut.

Here is what Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has to say about Chark as he heads into the 2022 season.

From Pro Football Focus:

After the remarkable run of wide receiver contracts handed out this offseason, Chark suddenly becomes the last man standing and arguably the best pending free agent wide receiver across the NFL after signing a one-year, $10 million flier with the Detroit Lions. Chark and his camp’s decision to go the short-term contract route after missing most of the 2021 campaign to injury has aged well, and with a productive year potentially serving as the No. 1 option in Detroit, the 25-year-old could still cash in big on a multi-year deal. 

Over the 2019-20 seasons, Chark’s 23 contested catches and 13.3-yard average depth of target ranked 18th among wide receivers, with his 27.7% deep target percentage (targets 20-plus yards downfield) ranking seventh. He’s a big play waiting to happen and stretches opposing defenses vertically on every snap. 

At 6-foot-4, the former return man for LSU ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, and his 40-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-9 broad jump also ranked above the 90th percentile among wide receivers. Chark simply has physical abilities other guys never will, and if he can stay healthy and productive for a full season, he’ll look to be paid accordingly. 

Nation, what are your expectations for DJ Chark in 2022? Do you think he will earn a long-term contract with the Detroit Lions?