Examing The Immediate Future Of Calvin Johnson
The playoffs are getting cranked up for most teams and players are excited. The big stage is where you can take your career to the next level or bring it down a notch. On the opposite side of that coin, there are players that will be sitting at home watching the playoffs this year, wishing for another chance to get back on the field and get to the playoffs. One of those players that is sitting at home is Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. The Lions finished the season strong, but could not overcome their 1-6 start to the season. And to boot, Johnson was battling nagging injuries this season as well. He is still considered one of the best wide receivers in the NFL by many, but he is starting to slow down some at age 30. So instead of him working on how to get better this offseason, he is contemplating a huge decision. Reports began to surface on Wednesday that 6’5”, 240 pound receiver has thought of calling it a career. He then put out this quote when addressing his future: “Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future. I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.” It really sounds like Megatron is considering hanging the cleats up for good. Just like Detroit sucked the life out of Barry Sanders, it seems to have potentially sucked the life out of Calvin Johnson.
If Calvin was to retire today, he would be considered for the Hall of Fame when his time comes. But when you take a look at his career, he would not make the Hall of Fame. He would be the wide receiver that was good but not good enough to make the Hall of Fame. He certainly has put up very good numbers to this point in his career (731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns). And he also had one of the most impressive years that any wide receiver has ever had in terms of receptions and yards 2012 (122 receptions for 1,964 yards). But he will not be making the Hall of Fame. For those that think he should and will make it, take a look at the numbers of Tim Brown. It took him a while to make the Hall of Fame. He had over 1,000 receptions in his career, 100 career receiving touchdowns and had over 14,000 receiving yards. If he had a struggle to get in, imagine how much of a struggle it would be for Megatron to get in with his current numbers? His effect on the game has been great, but the numbers would not be Hall of Fame worthy at this time. And honestly, he would not ever be a Hall of Famer if his career stopped right now.
It could be the real feelings of Calvin Johnson that he wants to be done with football. And that is his prerogative to leave the game when he wants. But in all honesty, it may be that Johnson wants to leave Detroit. If he indeed wants to leave Detroit to pursue somewhere else to play, he is going to have to take a paycut. He would count $24 million against the cap in Detroit or anywhere he would be wanting to play. If he is willing to take a paycut to go somewhere else, then there will be plenty of teams looking to add him. He is still a big, fast receiver that can give defenses fits. It is highly unlikely that Detroit would trade a player within the division, but a team like Minnesota could use Megatron. Imagine if Teddy Bridgewater had that kind of weapon to throw to right now. With him, teams could not gang up on the line of scrimmage like they do now versus Adrian Peterson. And with him on the team, rookie Stefon Diggs would be even more dangerous. And the biggest effect he would have on the team is making things easier for Adrian Peterson to run the football. They would go from just a playoff team to a potential Super Bowl contender.
Minnesota is just one of many teams that Calvin Johnson could affect. But if he wants to play or not is ultimately on him. He still has the physical skills despite the nagging injuries that have happened recently. And if he gets added to the right team, then it could potentially rejuvenate him. If this is indeed it for Megatron, it has been fun watching him dominate on the football field and I wish him luck on all future endeavors. But even though he was dominant throughout his career, he will not be seeing the Hall of Fame if this is indeed the end of the road.