Josh Reynolds: ‘Easy decision’ to re-sign with Detroit Lions, bypass free agency

Detroit Free Press

Josh Reynolds went through free agency once, and that was enough to know he didn’t need to experience it again.

Reynolds officially signed a two-year extension with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday that could pay him as much as $12 million through the 2023 season.

That’s a big pay raise from last year, when he played on a one-year, $1.75 million contract he signed with the Tennessee Titans in free agency.

But as important as the money was, Reynolds said his decision to bypass a second bite of the free agent apple and stay with the Lions was mostly about what he experienced in the seven games he played in Detroit.

“For me it was an easy decision,” Reynolds said in a video conference. “As long as we was able to kind of get all the little details right, I was more than willing to come back, man. For me, I just didn’t want to — I felt like this was the best move and honestly, I love the decision I made. Just happy to be here, man. It feels like home just even being back in the building. I can’t really give you the words that I’m trying to get out right now, but I can just tell you I’m more than happy to be here and ready for this season.”

Reynolds caught 19 of 36 targets for 306 yards and two touchdowns after the Lions claimed him off waivers from the Titans at midseason.

He averaged a team-leading 16.1 yards per catch during that span and gave the Lions the viable deep threat they lacked during their 0-8 start.

With Reynolds in the lineup alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond at receiver, the Lions went 3-4 and had three of their four best offensive performances of the season. Raymond is expected to test free agency next week.

Reynolds, who caught 10 passes for 90 yards in five games with the Titans, said he was appreciative of the opportunity the Lions gave him to play a significant role on offense.

Before signing with the Titans, Reynolds was a part-time starter for four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where he was teammates with current Lions quarterback Jared Goff.

“There wasn’t an opportunity that I got with the last team I was on and (the Lions) came in with full trust in me and letting me kind of —> letting me do my thing,” Reynolds said. “That just showed how much trust they had in me and that was a big reason why I also was looking forward to getting this deal done with them.”

Reynolds said he texted Goff after he finalized his deal Tuesday and Goff “seemed more than excited” about the news.

The Lions, coming off a 3-13-1 season, remain in the market for receiver help, either in free agency, the draft or both.

Quintez Cephus joins Reynolds and St. Brown as the Lions’ top returning receivers, and the team is expected to be active in pursuing a top outside threat like the Chicago Bears’ Allen Robinson in free agency next week.

More: Detroit Lions poised to be major players in WR market, and other thoughts from NFL combine

Reynolds, who has yet to play a game with Cephus, who was lost to a broken collar bone in October, said he’s not sure what else the Lions need at receiver but he likes the group that’s in place now.

“We may have what we need,” he said. “But depth is crucial. Somebody goes down, you need somebody that’s going to come in and not miss a beat on offense. Wherever or however the coaches find that piece, I know they’re going to make the best decision for the team and we’re going to welcome him in with open arms.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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