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Many believe Calvin’s cash has been grossly overstated

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

A big-money deal for Lions receiver Calvin Johnson had been expected, but no one really expected how big it would be.

And now the question is whether it’s really as big as claimed.

Initial reports pegged the contract as being worth $132 million over seven years, with $60 million guaranteed.  That equates to an annual average of nearly $19 million.  And the truth is it’s nothing close to that.

The problem arises from the disconnect between “seven years” and the value of the deal.  Lost in the description is the fact that Johnson already is due to make more than $20 million in 2012, the final year of his rookie deal.  And so it’s a seven-year extension, creating an eight year deal — and resulting in an annual average somewhere between $15.5 million and $16 million.

The guaranteed money also is believed to be more like $50 million, with the fully guaranteed money under $40 million.

Without and extension and if the Lions used the franchise tag in 2013, Johnson would have made more than $46 million in the next two seasons.

We’ll defer further comment until the full contract can be obtained and analyzed.  For now, the talk in league circles is that Johnson’s deal is being grossly overstated.

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29 Responses to “Many believe Calvin’s cash has been grossly overstated”
  1. eastsideballa says: Mar 14, 2012 10:36 PM

    Grossly overstated? He deserved more… straight cash homeh.

  2. quadya says: Mar 14, 2012 10:39 PM

    does it really matter? hes locked in to be a lion for a relly long time and dude is filthy freeking rich…

  3. primetime0552 says: Mar 14, 2012 10:41 PM

    Good thing for Lions if its overstated. Being a Lions fan, he deserves every penny. He is a man among men.

  4. carryingweight says: Mar 14, 2012 10:42 PM

    I’ll be Making 30k this year… So ya I guess he isn’t making that much

  5. 69finfan says: Mar 14, 2012 10:48 PM

    I’m appalled. I don’t know how he can be expected to play for such a paltry sum. WTF.

  6. cotts1 says: Mar 14, 2012 10:50 PM

    Whatever…his cap number was so high because of a completely flawed draft system that made high draft picks grossly overpaid from the start. All that matters is he got a fair deal and is the highest paid WR in the league.

  7. nickerus says: Mar 14, 2012 10:53 PM

    why are they using a madden image for him?

  8. khuxford says: Mar 14, 2012 10:54 PM

    I thought the way the Franchise tag worked these days would bring any number down significantly from $46m over two years?

  9. walkenrules says: Mar 14, 2012 10:56 PM

    Semantics. Brother be rich.

  10. jdouble777 says: Mar 14, 2012 10:58 PM

    Do you people know what kind of money that is in the football? In baseball, it is what it is. In football, it is about 1/6 of the entire team. Figuring out how to make an entire team on the cheap when Stafford and Megatron takes up about 1/3 of the salary cap it is brutal.

  11. kirkhinrich says: Mar 14, 2012 11:00 PM

    “The guaranteed money also is believed to be more like $50 million, with the fully guaranteed money under $40 million.”

    The NFL: Where “guaranteed” doesn’t actually mean anything.

  12. profootballwalk says: Mar 14, 2012 11:01 PM

    what is the difference between guaranteed and fully guaranteed? Is this like pregnant and fully pregnant?

  13. touchdownroddywhite says: Mar 14, 2012 11:15 PM

    Is that picture from Madden ’12? Doesn’t look real at all… If so it’s well played, sir. Well played indeed.

  14. kungfubillysims says: Mar 14, 2012 11:24 PM

    Gotta give credit where credit’s due. You are pretty legendary at breaking these types of things down.

  15. catskinnerd11r says: Mar 14, 2012 11:25 PM

    Megatron deserves it

  16. scchamil says: Mar 14, 2012 11:35 PM

    It was a good deal for Lions. Sign a guy to the biggest contract in the history of the sport for his position… and somehow save several million dollars in cap space this year.

    Shows how crazy rookie contracts had gotten. The Bengals signed AJ Green for four years for less than what the Lions would’ve owed Megatron for this year alone under the last year of this rookie contract.

  17. steelersredsoxnation says: Mar 14, 2012 11:39 PM

    He’s a great WR but no WR is worth that much money….that is franchise QB money. It’s great the lions locked him up for that long but a WR is only as good as the guy throwing to him and we all know stafford is injury prone. Hopefully this deal won’t hamstring them later on.

  18. lilrob10201 says: Mar 14, 2012 11:41 PM

    He is getting paid starQB money.

  19. snikerbotloot says: Mar 14, 2012 11:41 PM

    MEGATRON!!!!

  20. lawrance4 says: Mar 14, 2012 11:43 PM

    Actually, this is the first news of a discrepancy I’ve heard. Other than everyone incorrectly calling it a 7 year extension… It’s actually an 8 year NEW contract worth up to 132 million with 60 million guaranteed.

  21. noeffinway says: Mar 14, 2012 11:44 PM

    Megatron is also a super human!

  22. bedmanokc says: Mar 14, 2012 11:49 PM

    nothing gross about multi millions for playing food ball

  23. jsratx says: Mar 15, 2012 12:07 AM

    To catch a football.

    W. T. F.

  24. newguy925 says: Mar 15, 2012 12:14 AM

    This guy will get the incentives as long as he’s healthy. The only insurance Detroit may have is against injury.

  25. nannymcsack says: Mar 15, 2012 12:16 AM

    there should be a book written about the difference between guaranteed and fully guaranteed.

  26. frankdatank23 says: Mar 15, 2012 12:39 AM

    was the picture changed or are more than one of you smoking the same thing ?

  27. celly84 says: Mar 15, 2012 1:10 AM

    steelersredsoxnation says:
    Mar 14, 2012 11:39 PM
    He’s a great WR but no WR is worth that much money….that is franchise QB money. It’s great the lions locked him up for that long but a WR is only as good as the guy throwing to him and we all know stafford is injury prone. Hopefully this deal won’t hamstring them later on.
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    Normally I would agree w/ that statement but there are 2 exceptions to this rule RIGHT NOW in the NFL. Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.

    Those two have and will continue to play like monsters with or without an elite QB. Don’t forget, Johnson was Megatron BEFORE Stafford got there. He just brought him from Cybertron for the rest of use to see. Fitzgerald has balled out his entire career. It wasn’t until Warner showed the world what a great receiver he actually is.

    So while you’re statement would normally hold weight, in this situation, this may be one of the few instances where said player deserves what he’s being paid.

  28. meytonpanning says: Mar 15, 2012 2:25 AM

    He most definitely has earned that hefty contract. IMO best wide receiver last in the NFL.

  29. faulkn22 says: Mar 15, 2012 6:23 AM

    I’m smoking something and I know that picture is from the away game at the Saints. Don’t put us all down; we’re not all retarded.

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