Analyst Debates Calvin Johnson’s 2021 Hall of Fame Chances

Calvin Johnson

Getty Calvin Johnson during a Lions-Bears game.

The Detroit Lions don’t get players elected to the Hall of Fame often, but one person who seems like a lock for enshrinement in the future is Calvin Johnson.

Johnson is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2021, and it’s interesting to see some of the hype he is getting as it relates to making it to Canton next year. Recently, John Breech of CBS Sports debated some of the candidates for Johnson’s class, and explained their chances.

When it came to Johnson, Breech explained the potential ups and downs of Johnson trying to get the call next year. Here’s a look at his conclusion:

“You can definitely make a strong argument that Calvin Johnson belongs in the Hall of Fame, but Megatron might have a tough time getting in during his first-year of eligibility, and that’s mainly because his career was so short. Johnson decided to retire after just nine seasons, and that was mainly due to two reasons: His body was beat up and he was fed up with the Lions. As a matter of fact, Johnson actually did a recent interview where he took another shot at his former team.

“First thing, I’m like, ‘Whoa, this is how you should take care of your players,'” Johnson told the Behind the Mask podcast. “I go to Miami — it ain’t like Miami’s winning, but they’re taking care of their players … I go to Oakland, I’m like, ‘Damn, we don’t have none of this in Detroit.'”

Despite his sour relationship with the Lions, he did thrive during his time with the team. During his nine-year career, Johnson led was named an All-Pro three times and he led the NFL in receiving yards twice. Megatron also led the NFL in receptions in 2012 when he caught 122 passes. The impressive thing is that he did all of this even though he was usually the focal point of every opponent’s defense. During that 2012 season, Johnson finished with 1,964 receiving yards, which is still the NFL’s single-season record. As a matter of fact, no player in the NFL has even finished a season with 1,900 yards.

The biggest knock on Johnson is that he never really played on any good Lions teams. During his time in Detroit, the Lions went just 54-90 and he went 0-2 in the playoffs. Of course, no one will be blaming those losses on Johnson, especially his first one. Back in January 2012, Johnson caught 12 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-28 loss to the Saints.”

Johnson would seem to be a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame given what he did in the NFL for years and also given the way he changed the game at wide receiver. The only question is when, but next year at this time, there could be an easy answer to be had.

Calvin Johnson Snubbed From NFL Top 100 List

Johnson was unexpectedly snubbed from the list, which included a few other solid players from the time Johnson was doing most of his damage. 10 players cracked the list and Johnson wasn’t one of them, even in spite of his statistical dominance.

In the aftermath of the decision, many erupted on the internet calling for Johnson to be in with the group, and for good reason. Johnson, nicknamed Megatron for the superhuman plays he was able to make catching the ball, was amongst the biggest physical specimen receivers of his time and helped re-write the record books.

As many, including former Lions and NFL offensive lineman T.J. Lang were saying after the decision, it’s time for a modern era group to comprise a list different from the others thanks to the fact that some key players are getting left off the list.

Predictably, that’s a comment about Elroy Hirsch given his status as an older player from a completely different era of the game. It’s tough to understand how Johnson could have been left off the list given how dominant he was physically and otherwise.

Quite possibly, he changed the game in the biggest way possible of any wideout on the list, which makes him the biggest missing element.

Obviously, everyone on the list changed the game in their own way and were legendary figures for the game. Johnson should have been counted as such.

Despite this, it’s not likely he can be snubbed forever from Canton.

Calvin Johnson Lions Statistics

Since he came into the league with the Lions in 2007, Johnson wasted little time putting up great plays and amazing statistics. In his career, Johnson put up 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns and more than that, was a human highlight reel unlike any other receiver on the list. Out of Georgia Tech, Johnson was labeled as one of the freakiest players in the draft and he lived up to that distinction in the NFL.

Johnson shattered Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards during the 2012 season and was a stable force for the team, often playing through pain and discomfort on the field. He walked away following the 2015 season, leaving a gaping hole in Detroit’s wideout group. Since, Johnson has been embroiled in a feud with the Lions for the last few seasons over money that the team made him pay back upon retirement.

It doesn’t seem like any of this will prevent Johnson from getting his call to the hall when the time comes.

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