Calvin Johnson elected as first-ballot Hall of Famer
Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is heading to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The announcement of Johnson’s nomination came during the NFL Honors ceremony on Saturday night. Johnson becomes the seventh wide receiver to receive this honor in their first year of eligibility. Preceding him with this distinction is Raymond Berry, Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield, Steve Largent, Jerry Rice, and Randy Moss.
Along with that, Johnson becomes the 22nd player to wear a Lions’ uniform elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s something the Lions’ owner Sheila Ford Hamp alluded to following the announcement.
“On behalf of the entire Detroit Lions organization, I’d like to congratulate Calvin Johnson on being named a first-ballot inductee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Ford Hamp.
“Calvin is one of the best to ever wear a Lions uniform, as he becomes the 22nd player who played for the Lions to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This is the highest individual honor in football, and it brings me great joy to know that Calvin’s legacy will forever be enshrined in Canton.”
The announcement of Johnson to the Hall of Fame was not a shocker to one former Detroit Lion. Herman Moore made an appearance of The Morning Woodward Show this past Friday, advocating Johnson’s appointment.
“I really believe that someone is going to try to argue against [him and] why he should wait,” said Moore. That’s always hard for a wide receiver to make it their first time unless you’re like Jerry Rice when your stats are just off the chart, but Calvin was a person who changed the game.”
“I mean, he is a big guy, they look for those that dominate the game, and he can check all those boxes, so I look for him to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. That’ll be a great thing for him, and I think a great thing for the team, but it will come with a little bit of a taint to it.”
That taint Moore is referring to is the friction between Johnson and the Lions organization. After retiring, Johnson had to payback the Lions a little over $1 million of his $16 million signing bonus.
Johnson retired in 2015 after nine seasons with the Lions. During his career, he had 731 catches for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. He holds the single-season record for receiving yards with 1,964.
David Baker, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, greeted Johnson at his home with the news.
Much speculation surrounded Johnson being a finalist. It wasn’t about whether Johnson was worthy of being in the Hall of Fame. The numbers and accolades dictate he is, but it was whether he should be on the first ballot. Past inductees such as Terrell Owens was top 3 in several receiving categories at the time of retirement. He didn’t make it in on his first or even second try. With Johnson playing less than ten seasons, many felt the voters would hold that against him.
Nevertheless, the voters have decided. Megatron is heading to Canton.
To get in touch with Kory Woods, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can follow him on Twitter @koryewoods.