The Lions have gotten their man, as number two pick in this last Apri’s draft, wide out Calvin Johnson and the team have come to terms. The number two pick signed a six-year deal, and will end an eight-day holdout by being at practice. The 3-13 Lions sorely needed a playmaker, and while they have missed the past few years with receivers, they feel that Johnson will finally buck that trend.
He was thought of as the best player in the draft by many, as last season at Georgia Tech he pulled in 78 passes for 1,202 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also went on to win the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top college receiver. After the Lions took Johnson, GM Matt Millen, who has been railed for his tenure with the club, said that “He’s going to be a big part of getting us to where we want to go.”
The deal was signed about 8am this morning, and the Detroit Free Press is stating the deal will guarantee Johnson over $26 million. Johnson was a two-time All-American in college, earning first team All-ACC honors three consecutive years (2004-06) while also being named the conference Rookie of the Year in 2004.
“We just kept working at it and working at it,” said Lions chief operating official Tom Lewand. “We were able to really find some common ground in the last couple of days and work towards resolving a lot of the complexities of the contract.” Will Johnson be able to turn the Lions fortunes around? He will give another solid option to QB Jon Kitna, who said earlier before camp that he would throw 50 touchdowns this season. If that is even going to become close to happening, Johnson will be a big part of it.
“Would I like to have seen it done days ago?” Lewand said. “Yes. But we’re happy it is done and now we can get on to talking about Calvin Johnson’s prowess on the field and how he’s going to help us win football games instead of how much money he’s going to make.”
Click Below to Hear Johnson’s Thoughts following his first practice: