DJ Chark lingered available longer than he probably expected to, but he is set to leave the Detroit Lions for the Carolina Panthers.
The longer he remained available in free agency, going into the second week, the idea DJ Chark could return to the Detroit Lions sort of surfaced. But alas Chark will be elsewhere next season, as Jordan Schultz of The Score reported he has agreed to a deal with the re-tooling Carolina Panthers.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported it’s a one-year deal for Chark in Carolina. The move backs up earlier indications Carolina wanted to sign Adam Thielen and Chark to restock their receiver room, and now they’re both Panthers.
Last offseason Chark inked a one-year, $10 million deal with the Lions, and was in line to be a much-needed field stretcher. It was a gamble to bring in Chark, who missed the majority of tjhe 2021 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars due to a broken ankle.
That same ankle landed Chark on IR, as he missed six games in his only season in Detroit. In the 11 games Chark was in the lineup, he totaled 30 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns. Chark’s availability hampered the Lions’ plans on offense for the 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver, as Ben Johnson and Dan Campbell hoped he would play a big part in the offense.
With DJ Chark’s departure, does Brad Holmes have something else up his sleeve?
Wide receiver is an area of some need for the Lions. When the Lions allowed Chark to sit as a free agent, it became apparent his asking price was higher than the Lions were comfortabe with. With Chark heading to the Panthers, the speculation about Holmes next chess move has already begun. So what happens next?
Not only do the Lions have a ton of draft stock, they somehow still have the third-most cap space in the NFL.
This puts Holmes and the Lions in a win-win situation. They could choose to go after a receiver in the NFL Draft, or make a bold trade for a veteran like DeAndre Hopkins. It seems the Lions can do no wrong as of late, and there is little reason to doubt any moves made or not made. Chark’s departure seemed likely, and it has indeed happened.