Report: Lions to Sign Ex-Jets WR Jermaine Kearse to 1-Year Contract

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 03:  Jermaine Kearse #10 of the New York Jets celebrates his first down as Steven Terrell #30 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts in the fourth quarter on December 03, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.The New York Jets defeated the Kansas City Chiefs  38-31. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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After spending much of the offseason on the free-agent market, veteran wide receiver Jermaine Kearse signed with the Detroit Lions on Thursday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported that Kearse received "a one-year, $1.35 million deal, with a max value of $2.3 million, including $350,000 guaranteed."

The New York Jets initially acquired Kearse from the Seattle Seahawks shortly before the start of the 2017 season, and the move paid immediate dividends for a team that was desperate for receiving reinforcements. 

Appearing in all 16 games two years ago, Kearse posted career highs in targets (102), receptions (65) and receiving yards (810) while hauling in five touchdowns. However, that production fell back to earth in a big way last year. 

Appearing in 14 games (nine starts), Kearse logged 37 receptions on 76 targets for 371 yards and a single score as then-rookie Sam Darnold adjusted to life under center. 

Prior to his two-year stay in northern New Jersey, Kearse spent five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks as an ancillary jump-ball weapon along the boundary. All told, he finished his time in the Pacific Northwest with 153 receptions for 2,109 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Kearse has always been best suited as a third or fourth receiver as opposed to a primary vertical threat. With the Lions, it stands to reason he will slot into that role.

With Golden Tate gone, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are penciled in as quarterback Matthew Stafford's top two options at wideout entering 2019. Outside of them and 33-year-old Danny Amendola, the Lions don't have many proven commodities, as former New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis and rookie sixth-round pick Travis Fulgham are next in the pecking order.

Kearse stands a good chance of making the team and having some impact.