Allen Park — A relative unknown when he signed with the Detroit Lions last offseason, wide receiver Kalif Raymond showed enough in his first season with the team to earn a new two-year contract, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
Undrafted out of Holy Cross in 2016, the speedy Raymond had bounced around the league after initially signing with the Denver Broncos as a rookie free agent. After short stays with the New York Jets and New York Giants, Raymond spent two seasons in Tennessee, emerging as the Titans’ primary kick returner.
With the Lions, Raymond continued in his role as a kicker returner, but also played a much bigger role on offense than he had at any point earlier in his career. After catching 19 passes his first four seasons, he hauled in 48 for 576 yards and four touchdowns in 2021.
“I think he was a dang good pickup for us in the spring,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “Lif really embodies everything that we’re about, just everything that he is made up of. … Here’s what probably doesn’t always show up for the naked eye is that dude blocks every play. Like, he is blocking somebody every play, the safety, support player in these runs. Teammate catches the ball, he’s looking for a block. And on top of that, he’s a good returner. I’m glad we got him, and he is. He’s dependable is what he is.”
Raymond is the second receiver the Lions re-signed this week, following Josh Reynolds. The team also is expected to formalize an agreement with free agent DJ Chark later this week to round out the team’s corps.