Former Jaguars WR DJ Chark lands with NFC North team

D.J. Chark #17 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
D.J. Chark #17 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars started the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period with a bang, signing a handful of players that should become key contributors in 2022. However, the Jags have a finite amount of money to spend and that means there are only so many players they can acquire or re-sign, so even though head coach Doug Pederson wanted to bring back wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., he has now landed with the Detroit Lions.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Chark signed a one-year, fully guaranteed deal worth $10 million with the Lions. Days before free agency, it was reported the former LSU Tiger was going to have a robust market for his services and clubs were ready to aggressively pursue him. However, his market never materialized and he ended up striking a prove-it deal, which could be the best for him long-term.

Chark made the Pro Bowl back in 2019 after amassing over 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. However, he was hindered by the Jags’ instability at quarterback in 2020 and suffered an ankle fracture last year that forced him to miss 13 games. It’s possible that his injury gave prospective teams pause or maybe they pursued someone else in free agency, but $10 million won’t be a bad investment if he can bounce back in 2022.

A second-round pick by the Jaguars in 2018, Chark has appeared in 43 games with 30 starts and has hauled in 147 receptions for 2,042 yards with 15 touchdowns. In Detroit, he will give quarterback Jared Goff a dynamic weapon that has the ability to get deep.

The Jaguars’ wide receiver corps will look significantly different in 2022.

The Jaguars are giving their offense a significant makeover, which means that it will have a different look in 2022. Besides Chark, the Jaguars could also lose Laquon Treadwell, who developed a nice rapport with Trevor Lawrence and stepped up towards the end of the 2021 season. As of this writing, Treadwell hasn’t signed with a club and although there’s a chance he could return, the Jags haven’t shown any indications they plan to bring him back.

Also, the Jags could trade Laviska Shenault after the addition of Zay Jones or Christian Kirk, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN. Viska failed to carve a place on the offense last season but should get find plenty of suitors if he gets shopped. He had a promising rookie campaign and could thrive with the right team. That could leave Marvin Jones Jr. as the lone remaining member of the Jags’ 2021 wide receiver corps.

Regardless of who remains at wide receiver in Jacksonville, the Jags aren’t taking half measures and are making sure Trevor Lawrence has enough weapons to succeed in his sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, Chark didn’t form part of their plans but it isn’t because of a lack of talent. In fact, he will have a chance to show he’s a difference-maker in Detroit.

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