Calvin Johnson Contract – Calvin Johnson has thrilled Detroit Lions fans for five years, helping the city’s troubled NFL franchise recover from almost unimaginable depths to become one of the league’s most exciting young teams.
Now the Lions are rewarding the star receiver, giving “Megatron” a contract worthy of his catchy nickname.
Johnson has signed an eight-year deal worth up to $132 million, making him the highest paid receiver in the NFL. He had a year remaining on his original deal after being drafted in 2007, but this extension starts immediately and runs through the 2019 season.
“I’m so comfortable here now,” the 26-year-old Johnson said during a news conference Wednesday. “At first, not at all, but being here for five years, being around these people here in Detroit, teammates and just the city — I’m just growing accustomed to it.”
Johnson’s agent, Bus Cook, said the contract is worth $60 million guaranteed.
“Calvin’s one of those guys — we’ve said this about a few guys that we have in our building — whatever they pay him is not enough,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “He’s truly a special player.”
After years of questionable drafts, the Lions finally began building a talented nucleus when they selected Johnson with the No. 2 overall pick in 2007. Detroit went 0-16 in his second season but added quarterback Matthew Stafford with the top pick in 2009. The Lions then took defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the second pick the following year.
Detroit made the playoffs last season for the first time in a dozen years. The challenge now is keeping these stars long term, and the Lions took care of Johnson with minimal angst.
“They were happy to get this thing done with, and I was happy as well,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t a lot of confrontation. We weren’t butting heads or anything. It was just something that we knew needed to get done.”
The 6-foot-5 Johnson is a two-time Pro Bowler and his 45 touchdowns receiving are the most in the NFL since 2008. His deal tops the one given to receiver Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona last year — an eight-year deal that could pay him as much as $120 million.
Johnson is coming off a spectacular season in which he caught 96 passes for a league-best 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. He became the third player in NFL history with at least 95 receptions, 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns in a season, joining Jerry Rice and Randy Moss.