As a top draft prospect, Breshad Perriman said he was “looking forward to filling (my dad’s) shoes wherever” he played in the NFL.
Seven years later, Perriman’s journey has taken him to his father’s old team.
The Detroit Lions agreed to a one-year contract with Perriman, 27, on Thursday worth up to $3 million, his agent Drew Rosenhaus said.
Perriman has played for four NFL teams in his six seasons, but had his best year in 2019, when he played for new Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A first-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, Perriman spent three unproductive seasons in Baltimore before bouncing around the NFL the past three seasons.
He played for Lions senior personnel executive John Dorsey with the Cleveland Browns in 2018, had career-highs of 36 catches, 645 yards and six touchdowns with the Bucs in 2019, and caught 30 passes for 505 yards in 12 games with the New York Jets last season.
Perriman joins fellow free agent addition Tyrell Williams in what will be a new-look receiving corps for the Lions this fall.
Marvin Jones, the Lions’ leading receiver last fall, and Jamal Agnew signed deals with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this week, and the Lions are expected to lose Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola as well.
Golladay reportedly met with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday, and was set to visit with the New York Giants on Thursday. Amendola hinted at retirement after the season.
Quintez Cephus, who caught 20 passes as a rookie, is the Lions’ leading returning receiver, though the team is expected to address the position again in the NFL draft. The Lions have the seventh pick of the first round, and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama teammates DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are potential top-10 picks.
Perriman’s father, Brett, was a key member of some of the Lions’ best offenses in the early 1990s. Playing alongside Barry Sanders, Herman Moore and Johnnie Morton, Brett Perriman caught 108 passes for 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns in 1995.
Perriman, who was 3 years old when his father caught his last pass as a Lion, said in 2015 he has vague recollections, assisted by photo albums, of trailing his dad around training camp as a toddler.
“He wants me to be better than him, and I know I will,” Perriman said in 2015. “I think I am already, and he showed me a lot about how to play as a bigger receiver and also play smaller as a smaller receiver and be the more quicker and shiftier receiver.”