NFL Free Agency Primer: D.J. Chark

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. As the new league year approaches, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: D.J. Chark

Wide receiver D.J. Chark's first run at free agency couldn't have come at a worse time: he appeared in a mere four games for a disastrous Jacksonville Jaguars squad in 2021 and had to settle for a one-year, prove-it deal with the Detroit Lions last year. Now, Chark is set to hit free agency all over again after totalling 502 receiving yards at an excellent 9.7 yards per target. He's only 26 years old; it's possible the player that earned a Pro Bowl in 2019 (1008 yards, 8.5 yards per target) is still lurking somewhere inside him.

The Fit:

Chark is 6'4" with excellent speed (4.34 40-yard dash) and leaping ability (40.0" vert). He's a classic outside receiver who can punish single coverage and provide a mismatch against smaller or slower corners. A 2021 ankle injury derailed his career, but he flashed his rare traits on occasion with the Lions in 2022. He makes sense for a team that is willing to gamble on low-floor, high-ceiling prospect as a WR2.

The Contract:

Chark's production over the past two seasons will keep him from breaking the bank, but he has a priceless physical skillset that teams may be willing to gamble on. He played last year on a one-year, $10 million deal. He didn't provide exceptional value at that price, but he did prove he's healthier. Given his Pro Bowl past and his still immense potential, he may be able to land a deal similar to Corey Davis's three-year, $37.5 million pact with the New York Jets. 

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