WR Calvin Johnson decided to announce his retirement from the Detroit Lions. So where does this leave the team in 2016?

say it ain’t so!

Rumors circulated for days about the possibility of Calvin Johnson retiring. The second overall by the Detroit Lions in 2007 and has been an essential part of their offense ever since. And when he finally did confirm the news, who can the Lions look to as his replacement?

Nicknamed “Megatron”, Calvin Johnson’s 8-year career with the Lions cemented him as one of the best receivers in the game. His career stats speak for themselves with 83 touchdowns, 731 receptions and 11,619 receiving yards. However, this year seemed like a particularly low point for Johnson due to the Lions slow start to the season.

Regardless of the reason for Johnson’s retirement, it’s obvious he had a profound effect on the Lions and the NFL in general. For goodness sakes, the guy has a rule in the NFL’s rulebook named after him. He’s also been named to six Pro Bowls, is a member of 10,000 Receiving Yards Club and holds seven Lions franchise records.

so…..what now?

For the Lions, the loss of Johnson is a major hit to their team, but let’s focus on their offense. Johnson is their top receiver, followed by Golden Tate and then Lance Moore. Moore should be getting close to getting cut retirement at age 32 and Tate still has multiple years left on his contract. Other than Eric Ebron, their “meh” tight end, that’s really all that it left. Poor Matt Stafford.

Tate and Ebron seem like the two most likely to step up in Johnson’s place. Tate has been able to find his place in the Lions offense and could easily become Stafford’s top target without Johnson. Ebron is going to be in his third year in the league this upcoming season, but still needs a little more time to adjust. The only other possible solution would be for the Lions to draft someone this year which could happen.

Even though the Lions don’t want Johnson to retire, it is obviously his choice. No matter what happens, he definitely left an impression on the NFL that won’t be soon forgotten. The Hall of Fame will have a spot reserved for Megatron pretty soon.


Featured image via Bleacher Report’s twitter