Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown embraces new contract, city of Detroit, and newest Lions draft pick

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Yousef Enayah

ALLEN PARK – As a fourth-round selection – pick No. 112 to be exact – becoming the highest-paid wide receiver in the National Football League is a pipe dream. 

Three years of hard work, dedication, and being a sought-after teammate guided Amon-Ra St. Brown to ink a four-year, $120 million contract extension, including $77 million guaranteed, becoming the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. 

“If you were to tell me three years ago I would be here today, I don’t know if I would believe you,” St. Brown said. “These past three years, the whole journey, it’s been amazing. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” 

Not only is it hard for St. Brown to digest how far he has made it himself in the league, but for it to be in Detroit may be the biggest surprise of all.

“I was telling people earlier…when I got drafted, this is the one team I didn’t want to go to,” St. Brown said. “If you told me, ‘You were going to Detroit’ I’d be like, ‘Damn…I don’t know.’ But now looking back on it, I don’t think I’d be able to do what I did on any other team than here.”

St. Brown wasn’t the only Lions 2021 NFL draft pick to earn a massive payday. Penei Sewell put the pen to paper on a four-year, $112 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL. 

“If you play well, and you’re a great teammate and everything, you’re gonna get rewarded,” St. Brown said. “The Lions have shown that. No one can say anything that the Lions don’t pay their players. They’ve clearly shown that they’re gonna reward you with good play.” 

The Lions signed two of its perennial All-Pro players to extensions, but Detroit had moves to make in the 2024 NFL Draft. A trade with the Dallas Cowboys to moved the Lions up from pick No. 29 to No. 24 to select cornerback Terrion Arnold from Alabama. With Detroit drafting three Alabama products in the past two seasons in Jameson Williams, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Brian Branch, Holmes and Campbell found it easy to take an uber-talented secondary player from Tuscaloosa, and St. Brown is full on board. 

“This is damn near Alabama U, huh?” St. Brown said, with a smile. “I know Brad (Holmes) does a great job of doing his homework on guys. I can’t wait to meet (Terrion Arnold) and get to work with him. He’s a [defensive back] so we’re gonna be going at it at camp.”

St. Brown, thanks to the life-changing contract, isn’t worried about what he wants to buy for himself. His focus is on others, and securing the finances for his family. 

“I’m not really a guy that spends money like that,” St. Brown said. “I definitely want to take care of my family. That’s first and foremost…without them, I don’t think I would be here today.” 

After signing his contract extension earlier in the week, St. Brown was able to soak it all in on the downtown Detroit stage of the NFL Draft, alongside some familiar faces. 

“It was awesome,” St. Brown said. “It was me, Jared (Goff), Aidan (Hutchinson), Eminem. I actually got a selfie with [Eminem], pretty cool. Calvin (Johnson), Barry (Sanders), and the commissioner, all in one line just, you know, talking.’’

And once St. Brown stepped across the stage – in front of an NFL Draft record 275,000 – his eyes couldn’t believe the crowd that had formed in Campus Martius. 

“I knew there was a lot of people there but I didn’t know how many,” St. Brown said. “I’m walking out and I’m like ‘damn, I’ve never seen this many people in my life.’”

So, after three years of adjusting to the city of Detroit, the Lions, and the wide-eyed fans, St. Brown notched his much-desired contract and graciously welcomed fans from all parts of the country into the city he now calls home. 

“There were so many people, it was awesome to see the fans,” St. Brown said. “This city, you know, all coming together. I just feel like this is happening all at once at the right time.”

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