Raiders Dilemma: Whether to Pursue Calvin Johnson

Raiders Interested in Calvin Johnson?
May 23, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Detroit Lions retired receiver Calvin Johnson attends Oakland Raiders organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With all the news spiraling and circulating this week concerning the future of Calvin Johnson, some discussion is needed. I wanted to take a look into reasons for and against signing him. It’s important to note that the Detroit Lions still own his rights. Similar to the Lynch situation, but Johnson has made it clear he wouldn’t step foot on the field for them again. In addition, he maintains ambitions of winning the Super Bowl. As a result, if a team challenging convinced him to come out of retirement. Enter the Raiders who hosted him as a guest recently overseeing sessions and offering input.


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An argument for having him play for the Raiders is he is different to the WR we currently employed. Plus, he could offer a deep threat.  In addition, Johnson’s downfield blocking prowess could open up the running game. At age 31, Johnson looked fit and ready to go. While at Raiders OTA, he appeared well-rested. Maybe the urge to play still resides within him.

Johnson , a six-time Pro Bowler would immeasurably assist the Oakland. Teams could not double the outside and be forced to play straight up. Plus, putting things into perspective, he would have arguably the best young QB in the NFL throwing him the ball.

With that explained, there are also reasons to the contrary. Maybe Johnson should either stay retired on not suit up for Oakland.

First, he’s been out the game for a couple of seasons. Johnson left in what most consider his prime. Those are seasons that you cannot get back.  Second, due to his size, injuries plagued him in the later stages of his tenure in Detroit. More importantly, Johnson will not play for free. Whoever signs him will need to fork over a bunch of money. Under those circumstances, Megatron needs to stay away.

Additionally, the Lions hold the rights to the player. So, the Raiders would need to work out a potential deal.  This is foolish as receiver is not a position of great need in Oakland. Why deal for a player at position that you enjoy a surplus?

While Calvin Johnson is a surefire legend, Hall of Famer, there is no need for him in Oakland. The Raiders appear set at wideout. Yet, who knows what the future could bring.

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  • Arizona Independent

    Calvin Johnson was great during his prime and was targeted more than any other receiver and with that size and his good moves, his statistics were amazing. That was then but all that action and time has took it’s toll on his body. It’s kind of like deciding to bring back Bret Favre a couple of years after his last retirement. They can’t expect CJ to be the same dominant player that he once was. He will make his share of plays but can’t be over relied on as he was in Detroit. The Lions never had much of a running game and Matt Stafford was forced to throw too much and he may become a victim of the same pitfall that overcame CJ. The Lions have never been managed very well and it may be nearly impossible to pry CJ loose. They would probably expect a good receiver in return but Oakland could agree since CJ would be replacing one of them in the lineup. Megatron could make some plays in important games that would be beyond the range of other receivers on the team. They just can’t rely on him too much and they will have to give him a break getting into condition because he’s been out for two years.