After his least productive season in five years, All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson is trying to keep the Detroit Lions and the fans calm by promising he has a lot more to give before he finally starts running out of usefulness.
Johnson has five more years on his deal that makes him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL by far, and includes being a cap hit of $20.5 million this season, $24 million in 2016 and $21.3 million in 2017 before two more years with of less financial consequence, without forgetting the constantly rising salary cap which makes Johnson less and less of a hindrance on the team’s ability to bring in new players.
Suffering from an ankle injury that kept him out of three games, Johnson caught 71 passes for 1077 yards, his lowest totals since 2009. In 2013, another Pro Bowl and All-Pro kind of year for him, he missed a couple of games and fell off drastically from his incredible 2012, when he caught 122 passes for 1964 yards, although that came with just five touchdowns.
What’d I miss, four, almost five games last year? Still came up with just over 1,000. So I still have some production left. I feel good, man, I’m in a good place right now. I had a whole offseason to heal up. The biggest difference from last year is, we know the offense way better, simply because it’s the second year in. I can almost say we’re 100 percent better than last year at this time.
Johnson will turn 30 early next season, and the Lions will try to make things easier for him. By throwing the ball to Golden Tate, by improving their running game, and overall giving Matt Schaub more to work with. The Lions will be trying to make the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in 20 years. A mostly healthy and productive Johnson is obviously a big part of those plans.