By all reports, Calvin Johnson has decided to call it quits after nine seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. While the Lions brass has given him time to think about his decision, it seems as if the talented wide receiver has his mind made up. According to multiple sources, CJ has told his family, as well as Lions head coach, Jim Caldwell, that he plans to retire.
However, some Patriot conspiracy theorists (the same ones that think 9/11 is a hoax and LOVE the grassy knoll theory) believe that this entire thing is just a big ploy so Megatron can land in New England and break every receiving record ever recorded.
To be fair, I find it compelling and enjoyable just how dedicated Patriots fans are. While Calvin Johnson has long been rumored to be on the Patriots' radar, this story has absolutely nothing to do with the team from Foxboro. Johnson has been one of the most hard-working players in the NFL, and his body has taken a serious beating because of it. Like other high profiled athletes in recent memory, Megatron has decided to call it quits sooner rather than later in hopes of preserving what is left of his body.
But to Patriot fans? Nah.
Calvin Johnson is doing this so he can team up with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. While he is already 30-years-old, some Patriot fans believe that Johnson will sit out for the next two years so he has no contractual obligation to the Detroit Lions, then promptly sign with the red, white and blue. Mind you, Johnson will be two years older at this point and removed from football for 2 seasons, but thats beside the point.
Others believe that the Patriots could trade for the talented wide receiver, even though his cap hit for the 2016 season will be roughly $24 million, with a dead cap hit of $12.916 million. According to Miguel at PatsCap, the Patriots currently have $5.641,036 million in cap room for the 2016 season. While that number could and should be manipulated, it is hard to imagine the Patriots taking on that big of a hit for a banged up and aging wide receiver. Extending guys like Jamie Collins, Dont'a Hightower, Danny Amendola, and even Brandon LaFell could give the Patriots more room to explore the free agency market. For detailed numbers of the guys mentioned above, click here.
I talked about this at length in The Report: NFL Offseason Edition, but let me reiterate those sentiments by saying that the Patriots do not need a game changer out wide. For this team to be successful in the 2016 season, they need a receiver outside the numbers that can catch a 10-15 yard comeback route, not someone that Tom Brady can chuck up bombs to 50 yards down the field. Changing the game plan and making a guy like Calvin Johnson the focal point in this, or any, offense is NOT the answer. While guys like Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones would be great in this offense, they are going to get overpaid in a thin wide receiver free agent class. In my opinion, the Patriots should be looking to use one of their draft picks to get a young, cheap wide receiver. Again, that is beside the point.
Don't get me wrong, it would be awesome to have a receiver of Johnson's caliber, but lets be realistic here; Calvin Johnson is not coming to the Patriots. That time has come and gone.
End of story.
By Pete Packowski