Wide receiver and punt return specialist, Kalif Raymond, has signed a two-year contract extension with the Detroit Lions, reports Ian Rapoport. Although the financial details remain undisclosed, this deal is expected to make Raymond one of the NFL’s top-paid punt returners.
Raymond, an undrafted free agent from Holy Cross, initially stepped into the NFL in 2016 with the Denver Broncos. He has since played for the New York Jets, Giants, and Tennessee Titans. Across 68 career games, Raymond has recorded 114 receptions, 1,561 yards, and five touchdowns. As a return specialist, he boasts 97 punt returns for 963 yards and a touchdown, and 55 kick returns tallying 1,151 yards.
The “Iron Man”
Now in his third season with the Lions, Raymond’s impact has been significant. Since joining the Lions in 2021, he’s appeared in 33 games, secured 95 catches for 1,192 yards, and scored four touchdowns. His standout performance as the team’s punt returner earned him an AP Second-Team All-Pro accolade in 2022.
With Jameson Williams sidelined for six games, the Lions are banking on Raymond to step up. Head coach Dan Campbell praises him as the team’s “Iron Man” and emphasizes his adaptability and value. He said:
Leaf is our Iron Man…he is a guy that has been there for us and when we have needed him, he has always shown up…he can play all of the positions. He can play the X, he can play the slot, he can play the Z. He is smart. He is tough. He is heads-y. He is a go-getter. He is resilient. He is a huge asset for us. Thank God we have him.
This contract extension underscores the value of Kalif Raymond to the Lions and the expectations for his continued contributions on the field.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han – USA TODAY Sports