With Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson most likely retiring, many fans of the team have asked the same question: how do we replace Calvin Johnson? Well, I will (attempt) to answer this question. Here is how I would (attempt) to replace one of the greatest receivers of all time.
1. Sign Alshon Jeffery
Alson Jeffery is on the free agent market, and with almost $33 Million ($11M saved by Johnson’s retirement) to spend, they have more than enough to pursue him. I figure that Jeffery will command $5M-$8M, so a five year deal with around $6.5M a year isn’t too far off from reality. One of the reasons Jeffery may want to sign in Detroit is that he won’t have all the pressure on him. Golden Tate is still in the Motor City and has performed well since he signed in the 2013 offseason. QB Matthew Stafford is another selling point. Stafford likes to throw the ball to the receivers and let them make the play, which suites Jeffery’s style. Jeffery is a big playmaker and could be a big piece in a Detroit playoff run.
2. Sign, Trade for, or Draft a number three WR
One name always brought up in this conversation is Laqon Treadwell, WR out of Ole Miss. However, with A) Treadwell likely to be drafted early and B) Detroit already having two top receivers, he probably won’t fit in here. So, where do you go for a number three guy? Well, the draft is full of quality receivers, so there’s that. You may not want to sign another WR because there are other needs this team and new GM Bob Quinn need to address. A trade is likely, but the draft is a safe bet. Wait until Round Three, and if he’s still there, John Doctson out of TCU would be a great selection. Doctson had 79 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and really impressed in Big XII play. He uses his 6ft 4in frame to make unbelievable, acrobatic catches anywhere on the field, especially in the endzone. The Lions had one of the best redzone offenses in the league, so having Doctson would be huge.
3. Transition RB Theo Riddick to WR
Riddick is one of, if not the best, receiving RBs in the league. He impressed me with his ability to make plays from his backfield receptions. He makes the catch and is able to churn out the yards from there. His only problem is ball control, but I trust that he’ll be able to hang on. As for replacing Riddick, signing a veteran RB to help mentor Ameer Abdullah somewhere between the $1M-$2.75M range on a short term deal would do the trick.
Well guys, that’s how I’d replace Megatron. What do you guys think? What would you guys do differently?