The Detroit Lions don’t often land first-ballot NFL Hall of Famers, but they have a good candidate in the form of Calvin Johnson for 2021.
Johnson will soon learn his fate. Will he be immediately inducted, or will he have to wait a while? That’s a question many have recently debated, but Johnson himself doesn’t seem to be sweating the details no matter what happens. Recently, Johnson joined the Huddle & Flow podcast with Sam Wyche and Jim Trotter and was asked if he would be disappointed if he didn’t get inducted immediately. As he said, he’s not sweating it one bit.
On the topic of the Hall of Fame, Johnson said:
“Man, we’re here now. Of course it will feel like a slight I guess if you don’t get in the first time and you’re up there. Of course I can’t say that it wouldn’t because were human, we’re emotional. But it’ll happen. I confidently feel like it will happen. But will it happen first time? That would be awesome. Get it out of the way, why not.”
The Lions hope Johnson can get in right off the bat of course, but it’s clear if it doesn’t happen the wideout isn’t going to be too upset. He feels as if he can make the Hall of Fame at some point in time, even if he wants to go in first-ballot.
Calvin Johnson’s Case for Induction
If there was one player who broke the mold on the field for the Lions, it was Johnson. With his speed and size, he was unlike any wideout who ever played the game before him. Johnson also accomplished the feat while playing with one of the worst teams in the NFL that struggled to have a consistent answer at quarterback the first few years of his career. Others on the Hall of Fame list had more team success, but Johnson’s individual success in Detroit was quite impressive given all the variables he dealt with through the years.
Calvin Johnson’s Stats With Lions
This is a special honor for Johnson given what he did through the years. Over his career, there were few people more productive who changed the game the way Johnson did. He was a physical specimen and also had the stats to match in order to prove his dominance over others who played his position at the time.
After breaking into the league with the Lions back in 2007 when he was a top pick in that season’s draft, Johnson didn’t hesitate to put up great plays and amazing statistics. In his career, Johnson managed a total of 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns and more than that, was a human highlight reel unlike many other receivers he matches up with on the list. That’s similar to the impact Barry Sanders made. Out of Georgia Tech in college, Johnson was labeled as one of the freakiest players in the draft and he lived up to that distinction in the NFL at nearly every single turn right up until the moment he retired after the 2015 season. It’s rare to see a player not only live up to his draft potential but exceed it, and Johnson did.
Johnson shattered Jerry Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards during the 2012 season on the field and was constantly a great player for the team, often playing through pain and discomfort to the delight of his fans. Much like Sanders, Johnson never complained and simply went about his business. That’s why he remains one of the most revered players in franchise history to this day and is deserving of this honor.
Clearly, Johnson isn’t worried about when he goes in the Hall of Fame because he thinks it will happen.