The Detroit Lions decided they are for real today. With out actually coming out and saying it, the Lions made the bold of signing wide receiver Calvin Johnson to a eight-year, $132 million deal which will keep Johnson here through the 2019 season. Here is what Johnson had to say about the new deal, according to ESPN.
“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.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, here is what Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say about the largest guaranteed money deal in league history.
“That deal is signed, right?” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, turning to Johnson at a news conference to announce the contract today. “I’d have had held out for more money, Calvin.
“Calvin’s one of those guys that, and we’ve said this about a few guys in our building now, that whatever you pay him is not enough. And he’s truly a special player.”
Johnson has been a machine since coming into the league, after being drafted by the Lions with the number two overall in 2007. In his rookie season, Johnson caught 48 passes for 756 yards and four touchdowns.
However, Johnson emerged as one of the most talented receivers in the league with his sophomore campaign, catching 78 passes for 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns. Over the last three years, the five-year player out of Georgia Tech has had a combined 240 receptions 3,785 yards, and 33 touchdowns. Johnson was more than excited about the deal, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“They were happy to get this thing done with and get it out of the way, and I was happy as well,” Johnson said. “We weren’t bumping heads or anything. It was just something that we knew that needed to get done.”
Well, I know I was also excited to have the deal done as well. It is great to have a big time player come to the Lions and stay here for their career. Johnson has been arguably the best wide receiver in football (don’t ask Cris Carter) over the last five years and now he has someone to get him the ball in Matthew Stafford. This team made big strides last season, going 10-6 in a tough NFC North division after going 0-16 just four years ago.
With the signing today, the Lions not only told the fans that they are serious about winning but they sent a message to the rest of the league, letting them know they are a team to be reckoned with for years to come.