Calvin Johnson gets 7 years, $132 million, $60 million guaranteed


The Lions were willing to spend whatever it took to lock up wide receiver Calvin Johnson for years to come.

Johnson and the Lions are scheduled to announce a long-term contract extension this afternoon, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that it’s a seven-year deal worth $132 million, with $60 million guaranteed. That makes it the biggest contract in NFL history, surpassing Larry Fitzgerald’s contract with the Cardinals.

The Lions’ website pegs the deal as “a seven-year extension worth close to $130 million.” The site also says the contract reduces Johnson’s cap hit this year, meaning they’ll have more money available to re-sign linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who now looks like their top priority in free agency.

The $60 million “guarantee” may not be fully guaranteed: As we’ve seen many times with NFL contracts, guarantees can be less than advertised. But Johnson will clearly be among the highest-paid players in NFL history, and as staggering as the numbers look, Johnson is worth it. He’s only 26 years old and coming off a phenomenal season in which he caught 96 passes for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns, then turned in a brilliant performance in the playoff loss to the Saints. And Johnson is known as a consummate professional, hard worker and good teammate who doesn’t get in trouble off the field.

This looks like a deal that should make both sides happy.

86 responses to “Calvin Johnson gets 7 years, $132 million, $60 million guaranteed

  1. If there are any two guys who deserve to be paid so well based on their on and off the field activities its Fitz and Megatron. Well worth it!

  2. Good for him; he’s earned it. It’s unfortunate that my Packers have to face him twice a year, but I have only respect for the guy. I like how he’s not a diva WR either.

  3. Sweet….now drop kvb sign tulloch and go pick up vickers we need a beast fb boyzzzz. and i still say carr would fit in nicely also if hightower is therr at 23 we pick him

  4. I wasn’t a big NFL fan during Jerry Rice’s heyday, but watching this guy, it’s hard for me to fathom a receiver being better than Megatron. Congrats Detroit. Best active receiver in the game, bar none.

  5. he deserves every penny of it … Calvin is more than a great athlete he’s a great person … one of the rare athletes today that I dont mind my son rooting for regardless of what team he’s on (just glad he’s on mine)

    GO LIONS!!!

  6. Unfortunately for us, he now has the resources required to defeat the Autobots and rule Earth. I, for one, welcome our Decepticon overlords.

  7. Well, I guess if its possible for a football player to deserve that kind of money (which it isn’t) then it is him. I wonder how much my DirecTV Sunday Ticket will cost in the new tv contract?

  8. Holly Lord, if indeed it is $60m wow. However, with any stretch of the imagination that is a boatload.

  9. With these numbers going around, will we ever be able to have a team like the Cowboys of the 90’s?
    Stafford will get huge money too. Though to build a team with 2 players using up 1/3 of the cap.

  10. Somewhere, Wes Welker is watching the contract WRs are signing, and he’s rubbing his hands and cackling.

  11. I’d like to see the real guarantees in the deal (remember when the Skins “guaranteed” McNabb $40 million?), but still, wow.

  12. And some wonder why Brees won’t sign tender. He’s probably not looking for less $ than Detroit is willing to pay their wide receiver. So CJ gets a Top 5 QB type contract, can’t wait to see Brees and Manning deals. A few teams are gonna end up “bustin’ caps” (salary caps, that is!)

  13. “And Johnson is known as a consummate professional, hard worker and good teammate who doesn’t get in trouble off the field”…. this how you GET PAID $$$$$. Young people should learn from this.

  14. As a Bears fan I hate to see this but I have nothing but respect for the guy. He is a stud no doubts. To bad he has a turd coaching his team!!!

  15. At some point in the future these guys are going to just simply price themselves out of a job. Yes, he is the best but this contract which works out to over 18.85 million per year is absolutely OBSCENE!!!!!!!

  16. I support this contract, I’m happy they got it done. But stafford will want at least this much when his contract is up, especially if he keeps going for 5000 and 40 + TDs. Good problems to have I suppose.

  17. skinnyskins says: Mar 14, 2012 11:25 AM

    If the Skins made this deal you all would say we overpaid.


    skins would never be in position to make this deal because nobody as talented as Calvin that isn’t a complete nut case would ever consider signing with washington

  18. I really want my team to sign Tulloch (Eagles) , but if they cant then they better pick up Curtis Lofton or find a way to move up a few spots in the draft so they can grab Luke Kuelchy .
    But Megatron has the potential to be the most dominant WR ever , and Stafford is an amazing QB . Detroit will be a force in this league for years to come . Thank God theyre not in my división , GB better watch out.

  19. Only guy in the NFL who actually deserves a huge contract. Now Stafford should chuck him another 5 million on top of that for making him look so good.

  20. Wooooow as Deion would say. PAY THE MAN! This contract will haunt the Lions in a few years. I hope he can stay healthy

  21. Hard to fathom that kind of money. He’s a heck of a player. Possibly the best in the game right now. But the only 2 outcomes that matter to make this kind of investment on one player successful is 1) will he bring a Superbowl championship to the Lions and 2) will he make the Lions money. The reality is the second criteria is by far the most important to the Lions organization, or any organization. Anything less and the Lions overpaid.

  22. Love Calvin, but that is a lot of cap space to a player not involved in every play. If Stafford is a great QB, he should be able to make average receivers into stars. Once Stafford gets paid in a another year there won’t be any money left for the rest of the team, especially Suh.

  23. trollhammer20 says:
    Mar 14, 2012 11:23 AM
    Somewhere, Wes Welker is watching the contract WRs are signing, and he’s rubbing his hands and cackling.

    Please tell me you’re joking.

    Welker puts up gaudy numbers in a very specific offense.

    No one in the league, and I mean no one, would put Welker’s market value anywhere NEAR Johnson’s. Or even Vincent Jackson’s for that matter.

    His market value would be much closer to what Marques Colston got- 5 years for 40.

    You can’t just look at stats in a vacuum. Believe me, when Welker hits the market next year, AT AGE 33, general managers around the league won’t.

  24. Awesome! The Lions will now become irrelevent for years as they watch Johnson mail in his performance with no option to replace him.

  25. Dude is the best reciever in the NFL. Only close to him are Fitz and Andre Johnson. Andre was down last year and Fitz had no help.

    Hopefully he keeps it up. Lions got this one right

  26. Whoever your team is, you don’t want to hear your teams name the first several days of FA. It only means you way over paid. I’m not sure how a WR can be worth more the 10 mil per season.

  27. I remember when he got drafted. I remember it so well, because as a Bucs fan, and knowing the need at WR that year, we picked right after the Lions, and remember how PO’d I was when the Lions took him. Amazing contract Numbers… He deserves it.

  28. This is one of the most insane deals I have ever seen. He is a wide-out… he touches the ball 10% or less on just the offensive side of the ball. I would be excited as a Lion’s fan because you have a great great receiver for the next 5-7 years, but as a football fan, this is a huge joke… and I’m a Raider/Redskin fan. Wide-outs don’t win championships, Defense and QBs do.

  29. Good for him. Good guy on and off the field.

    Think about it though… Not knocking the Lions or Stafford, but could you imagine if somebody like Brees was throwing to this guy??

  30. Every year (excluding last year) he has had a bad back that has kept him out of games or rendered him a mere decoy.

    Detroit better hope THAT guy doesn’t show up again.

  31. Cha Ching! That’s over $18 million a season, $1.178 million a game, and $196,428 for each catch (based on 6 catches a game).

  32. If theyre paying receivers quarterback money, then I am curious to know how knew QB contracts look. If I’m a top 5 QB I’d ask for $250 million. Receivers paid like QB’s and QB’s will be paid like baseball players. Hard to build a team around 2 or 3 massive contracts in the NFL. Suh and Stafford will be next.

  33. The Lions FINALLY hit on a top 10 WR. Only took like 5 tries! Good for him though, and for the Lions. I like seeing traditionally bad teams get good. It’s good for the league.

  34. So Saints management, does this mean Calvin Johnson is far more valuable than Drew Brees?

    A pretty rediculous notion considering Brees makes the Saints a superbowl contender every year while the Lions can’t win a playoff game with C.J. playing extremely well.

    I nominate the Saints GM as idiot of 2012 so far. Sorry Rex Ryan you had a great run.

  35. u have to pay him, he is so good its not even funny. he is by far the best athlete ever to play the game

  36. I don’t understand how the Salary Cap works. If you’re guaranteed 60 million is that 60 million counted toward the 2012 cap space?

  37. Is it just me or are the 3 very best receivers in the league right now also the 3 most humble, team player mentality, super work ethic types that teams drool over.

  38. To everyone saying Calvin makes Stafford look so good, that isn’t nearly the whole story. he was a 75-1100-10 TD wr on average without Stafford, but a 95-1600-16 with him. It takes two to tango. And they’ll have a chance at greatness. Possibly the best arm in the game to one of the top 2 WRs in the game (respect to Larry Fitz, whom i hope gets Manning to throw to him and let him achieve his usual greatness).

  39. Matt stafford is 24. He put up numbers in his third year contractwise but really only 1 3/4 worth of a season. Drew breed is over thirty and didn’t have a third season near his……come on man

  40. thraiderskin says:
    Mar 14, 2012 12:18 PM
    This is one of the most insane deals I have ever seen. He is a wide-out… he touches the ball 10% or less..

    Yeah and his 16 TDs represented nearly 25% of the teams points this year…and he had like 4/5 games without a TD!!!

  41. Uh…for the people who say he’s “just a receiver,” you do realize that basically the entire offense runs through him and what defenses have to do to adjust to him, right?

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