Lions land No. 3 receiver in Jeremy Kerley

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Jeremy Kerley

The Lions' search for a backup receiver with more experience than TJ Jones yielded results Monday as they signed former Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley.

ESPN first reported the deal, and the NFL Network said the contract is for one year.

The Jets cut Kerley earlier this month two years into a four-year deal signed by the previous front office in 2014. Kerley lost his role as the No. 3 receiver -- behind Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker -- to Quincy Enunwa in 2015, and New York drafted Devin Smith in the second round last year.

Kerley, 27, saw his production dip in each year since 2012, when he had career highs of 56 catches for 827 yards. In 2015, he had career lows of 16 catches for 152 yards.

But, the Lions were in the market for a No. 3 receiver with experience playing in the slot. Behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, the Lions wide receiver group severely lacks experience.

Kerley was drafted by the Jets in the fifth round in 2011 out of TCU.

The Lions also hosted Broncos receiver Jordan Norwood on a visit last week. Like Norwood, Kerley has experience as a returner, serving as the Jets’ primary punt returner last season. Although Tate can return punts, the Lions would prefer not to risk using him on special teams due to his value on offense.

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