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The Detroit Lions are hoping to keep star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown around for a while, and will begin the process of doing so this week. According to The Detroit Free Press, Lions brass will meet with St. Brown's representatives at the NFL Combine to begin talks on a contract extension. A deal is not yet imminent, per the Free Press, but the team has made it clear that he is a priority.

A fourth-round pick out of USC in 2021, St. Brown immediately become a trusted underneath target for Jared Goff during the latter's first season in Detroit, picking up 90 catches for 912 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. He has since expanded his role and done more damage in terms of both volume and explosiveness, posting receiving lines of 106-1,161-6 and 119-1,515-10 over the past two seasons, making the Pro Bowl in each of them and being named an All-Pro slot receiver in 2023.

St. Brown is one of several star wideouts who became extension-eligible this offseason, along with Ja'Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Nico Collins. Also up for extensions are the first-round wideouts from the 2020 NFL Draft who did not extend last year such as CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk. Then there are the outright free agents from that draft like Tee Higgins (who has been franchise-tagged by the Bengals), Michael Pittman Jr., Gabe Davis and Darnell Mooney, all of whom are joined in free agency by the likes of Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, Marquise Brown and a whole lot more. 

In other words, the wide receiver market is likely to be reshaped dramatically over the next several months. 

Because he was a fourth-round pick and not a first-rounder like Chase, Waddle, and Smith and therefore does not have a fifth-year option on his contract, there is more urgency for the Lions to get an extension done this offseason so that he does not hit free agency next winter. The Lions would have the franchise tag at their disposal if he did, but it is better to have the long-term cost-certainty locked in as soon as possible -- especially because the price tag for star wideouts is only likely to rise over the next year or so as the aforementioned stars sign their own long-term pacts.