Lions find big-bodied receiver, reportedly set to sign DJ Chark

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions have found a solution in their search for a big-bodied outside receiver, reportedly coming to terms with Jacksonville Jaguars wideout DJ Chark.

“That’s what we’re looking for, is someone that outside the numbers, predominantly, can win a one-on-one, and if he’s good at his job, dictates coverage,” offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said at the scouting combine last month.

The 6-foot-4 Chark was one of the most athletic pass catchers in the draft when he was coming out of LSU in 2018, running a 4.34-second, 40-yard dash and leaping 40 inches in the vertical jump.

Selected in the second round by the Jaguars that year, he played sparingly as a rookie, registering just 14 catches for 174 yards while being held out of the end zone. But things got on track during his second season in 2019, when he hauled in 73 balls for 1,008 yards and eight scores.

More: Justin Rogers ranks and predicts contracts for the NFL’s top 50 free agents

Under a new coaching staff, Chark bulked up a bit last offseason, adding 10 pounds to his frame. In Jacksonville’s first four games, he caught seven passes, averaging an impressive 22.0 yards per reception and scoring twice.

Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely when he suffered a fractured ankle in the first quarter of the team’s Week 4 contest.

The Lions will pair Chark with second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown — who set the franchise’s rookie records for receptions and receiving yardage — and the recently re-signed Josh Reynolds.

According to the reports, Chark will sign a one-year deal with Detroit for a fully guaranteed $10 million. The deal also includes incentives potentially pushing his earnings to $12 million. No agreements can become official until the start of the new league year, which officially begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The length of the deal provides the 25-year-old Chark an opportunity to re-establish some of his lost value coming off last season’s injury prior to re-entering the market against next offseason. It also sets the Lions up to potentially add a long-term receiving piece in the draft.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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