| Detroit Free Press
One prominent Detroit Lion was happy to see Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn go, and the team’s decision to fire its coach and general manager Saturday could pave the way for that player to stay in Detroit for years to come.
Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay was one of at least five current or former players who liked a post from the NFL’s official Instagram feed Saturday announcing news of Patricia’s dismissal.
Former Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, running back Dwayne Washington and wide receivers Lance Moore and Jay Lee also liked the post, which included a picture of Patricia with a “Breaking – Lions Fire Matt Patricia” caption.
Of those players, only Golladay and Washington, who was waived in September 2018 and now plays for the New Orleans Saints, played under Patricia.
Golladay has seen contract talks with the Lions grow contentious in recent months, and has used social media to express the disrespect he has felt from the team in the past.
After a big game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which followed an exchange of contract proposals that led nowhere, Golladay posted a picture of himself on Instagram with the caption, “This (expletive) gone cost you! Don’t let that go over y’all head…”
Golladay and the Lions were about $2 million apart, annually, in their most recent negotiations, which have subsided of late.
The Lions used the projected 2021 franchise tag number for receivers of $15.5 million as their baseline in contract talks, while several of the NFL’s top players at the position, including Amari Cooper (five years, $100 million), Keenan Allen (four years, $80.1 million) and DeAndre Hopkins (two years, $54.5 million), signed deals earlier this year worth $20 million or more annually.
Golladay made his first Pro Bowl in 2019, when he led the NFL with 11 touchdown catches and had a career-high 1,190 yards.
He has missed six games this season with hamstring and hip injuries, and has not played since the first half of a Nov. 1 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Golladay is expected back for the Lions’ final five games, where he could make a late contract push. The Lions are 1-4 without Golladay this season, have struggled offensively in his absence and are light at the receiver position for 2021. Of their top six receivers, only rookie Quintez Cephus is under contract beyond this year.
With Quinn gone and the organization in flux, the Lions likely will leave the decision of whether to try and sign Golladay to a long-term deal, retain him with the franchise tag or let him walk in free agency to whoever they hire as the next GM.
Golladay has said in the past his preference is to sign a long-term deal in Detroit, though he did not directly answer whether that’s still his hope when asked by the Free Press last month.
“I like it here,” he said. “I got No. 9 (Matthew Stafford) with me, that’s a plus.”