Lions to Transition CB Jamal Agnew to Offense in Surprising Move

The Detroit Lions will be utilizing Jamal Agnew strictly as a wide receiver for the 2020 season.
The Detroit Lions will be utilizing Jamal Agnew strictly as a wide receiver for the 2020 season. | Elsa/Getty Images

Jamal Agnew has been an outstanding returner throughout his career, but it looks like this year he'll be catching passes from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford instead of the opposing team's punts.

Agnew has been attending wide receiver and cornerback position meetings during the offseason, and the Lions announced that he will be transitioning to play wideout full-time in 2020. Agnew played 16 offensive snaps during the 2019 season.

Considering the Lions are bringing back all four of their top receivers from last season, it's pretty surprising that they'd add Agnew to the mix. They also drafted a receiver, Quintez Cephus, in the fifth round of the NFL draft. However, adding offensive versatility to his resume may help Agnew in the long run.

Even as a cornerback, Agnew wasn't a lock to make the 2020 roster for the Lions. Running back Jason Huntley, another fifth-round draft pick, seems tapped to pick up the returner job and the Lions have a strong lineup at corner with or without Agnew. He also hasn't seen a ton of minutes the last two years, playing only 21 defensive snaps last season.

Proving his value offensively and defensively will make Agnew a much more desirable player to keep on the roster. The Lions have a competitive receiver pool, but his ability to transition to fit the team's needs may be enough to keep him in Honolulu blue this season.

One thing is for sure: This switch-up has us even more excited to see what happens when the NFL kicks off this year. Even if Agnew isn't the next Calvin Johnson, it'll still be interesting to see where he ends up.