Would you feel betrayed if Calvin Johnson left the Detroit Lions?


Lebron James has opted out of his contract with the NBA’s Miami Heat. After all of his bold predictions, it kind of feels like the big three there came up short. After all the hype, the Heat did win championships but did not compare to their target, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. In the end Lebron is currently considered the best of his time in his sport and many see him as one of the greatest ever, no matter what he achieves going forward. The biggest question about him will likely be his loyalty. That is one question athletes should not have to answer. Professional sports are cruel and rarely does anyone finish their careers with the teams they started with. Going for the money and the championships is every player’s right thanks to free agency.

In the NFL, even the greatest of players rarely finish their careers with who they made their legacy with. Barry Sanders is a rare athlete that played at the highest of levels and played his entire career with one team. His teammate Herman Moore did not have that privilege as he was forced to finish his career in a dismal fashion in New York. Not even the great Jerry Rice finished with the San Francisco 49ers, though he did have initial success with the Oakland Raiders before fading out in Seattle.

Some players that did finish their careers in one place include Walter Payton, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino and Ray Lewis. The list of who had to move on though is staggering as many people forget that Joe Montana went to the Kansas City Chiefs and the more recent move of Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts to Denver would have seemed impossible just a few years ago, but it happened.

There are still a few who are likely to never play for more than one franchise. The top of that list is probably Tom Brady. Brady is still one of the best at quarterback and you could make an argument that he is the best ever. That being said, if Brady were to get injured again, it’s not like Bill Belichick is just going to stop winning before he’s ready to and he wouldn’t likely hesitate to move on from Brady if necessary.

Baseball also has had it’s share of players with a one team legacy, and the recent passing of the San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn should be acknowledged here. The Detroit Tigers hold in the highest of esteem the players who spent their whole careers here as well such as Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker and of course hall of famer Al Kaline.

It would be great to see Calvin Johnson start and finish his career in Detroit Lions blue. It’s not likely though and know matter what he does he’ll always be remembered first and foremost as a Lions player, but if he goes, will you feel betrayed the way Cleveland did when Lebron James jumped ship? Sadly, with the Lions history, it will be the only way that Johnson will have a legitimate chance at an NFL title, but can you imagine how cemented his legacy would be here if he led Detroit to a title the way Kaline, Trammell and Whitaker did for the Tigers?

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  • Leon

    Let’s remember, professional are drafted. Rarely are they allow to pick where they want top play. Imagine a top pilot being told he or she has been selected by low budget airlines and must sign a multiple year agreement and fly terrible plans, maintained by sloppy mechanics, etc, etc. once free agency is available, players should be able to choose when and where, and for whom they want to play, and not be thrown under the loyalty bus.

  • Chris

    Let’s not forget about Barry’s loyalty… It was forced. The man retired trying to leaving Detroit. We all love him, but he wasn’t happy here, either. This is a business and he wanted to win games. This is something we all wanted for the Lions, but he retired and was forced to stay there because Lions Management didn’t release him from his contract, so he stayed there. I don’t blame him, but you sure stayed away from this fact.

  • steve p.

    no-they need secondary help more than anything

  • Jeremy Mackinder

    Chris, I didn’t stay away from the fact–I just don’t know that it is a fact. Sanders has denied that in the past, and from a reliable source I don’t believe that it was the case. I think Sanders retiring to get away from the Lions is a possibility, but not an absolute fact.

  • Adam Beswick

    I have been a Lions fan my entire life (21) years, and my favorite player as a kid was Sanders and now it is CJ. I don’t think I would feel betrayed if he left, because I honestly feel bad for the dude. He hasn’t had a chance to win a championship, and barely sniff the playoffs. But I would be heartbroken if he left. However, there are not more than a handful of teams that have an upside like the Lions right now. Maybe I am overly optimistic, but the Lions core is as good as it has been in years and if the defense can be middle of the road the offense can carry this team into the playoffs.

  • big luke

    he would look good in red and gold richard Sherman wouldn’t have a chance to take the ball away from him 49ers win many super bowls with him

  • JimJack

    Pro football is a business. As a player, you have to lookout for yourself firs, then the franchise secondly and finally the fans ( terrible as it sounds). If Calvin stays at Detroit and plays into his late 30’s and Detroit should trade him, at that point as a fan, do you feel betrayed? I have been a Lion’s fan for well over 40 years, throughout all the losing and never did the franchise ever worry for the fans. They only ever see the bolton line and as long as it’s in the black, then on to next year. So, it’s a business.

  • Freddy Sdedd

    Kris Durham is a better receiver.

  • Ross

    I can only speak from an outsider (Packer fan) looking in. Within recent years the talent in Detroit has certainly ranked with some of the best. For me, it’s been management and coaching. I really thought at the beginning of last year they would be the team to beat in the division. Because you have good talent doesn’t necessarily mean your going to win games. It’s the coaching staff that is responsible for putting this team together in a way they can accomplish a Division Championship. I have been in a way a back seat Lions fan because I loved Bobby Lane back in the day. As I kid I saw him play the Packers in Green Bay. I remember like yesterday there was like three or four minutes left in the game and Detroit had the ball. I never thought the game would finish. One of the best masters of the clock. He was a joy to watch.