The decision has been made. It almost every reality I firmly believe that this decision was made long ago and it was going to take something (only Calvin Johnson himself knows what that something is) incredible to entice him to play another season for the Detroit Lions. I do not think he was holding out for the team to cut him, or trying to gain leverage in anyway. Calvin has always been a pretty classy guy, and thankfully this happened in a way where we the fans can continue to remember him that way.
Now we can begin the next debate…Is Calvin Johnson a Hall of Famer? For me I have always used the Rob Parker argument for determining Hall worthiness. It is the kick the tires test…you say a players name and either you think he is or he is not worthy of enshrinement. Granted I am very biased in my thinking but Calvin passes that test for me. I mean the guy has a freaking rule named after him…so his impact on the league was by no means small.
With that being said I do not think Calvin has the numbers to get elected to hall, at least not anytime soon. The team he played for, the lack of any post season success, and not having any signature wins will hurt his eligibility. Now I do not think that is very fair…but life isn’t fair. I think he will get in but we might have to wait a while. I think a lot of people outside of Detroit will see him as a player that was the best at his position…but only for two seasons. Again I do not think that is a fair assessment.
For the Lions and new General Manager Bob Quinn this could not have worked out any better. The simple fact here is due to mismanagement Calvin’s cap number was too large to carry on the books in 2016. Quinn didn’t have to run a Lions legend out of the building, Calvin seems to be at peace with his decision, and now the team can continue its rebuild process minus the last reminder of the Matt Millen days. In a lot of ways it closes one chapter for this team and allows the team to move and and write a new one, and that is something Lions fans should genuinely be excited about. Hopefully this new chapter being written involves more signature victories and post season success.
Now the Lions have to find a way to replace Calvin…and I do not think that will be any one player. They have signed Marvin Jones in free agency but that feels like a youth/depth move more than anything else. I think the offense still needs a speedster deep threat to pair with Golden Tate. I wonder if they will draft a wide out…and then I wonder how long it is before someone compares Quinn to Matt Millen…