30-year-old Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson retired yesterday, after a long waiting game ever since he admitted contemplating retirement as early as January. The Detroit Lions are wasting no time finding a replacement, as they are primed to sign free agent WR Marvin Jones, according to a report from ESPN.
Jones, who turns 26 in three days, played for the Cincinnati Bengals last season, catching 65 balls for 816 yards. He was the No. 2 option behind stud A.J. Green, and he figures to work with Golden Tate to solidify the receiving corps in Detroit during the post-Megatron era.
The deal won’t become official until the new league year officially begins at 4 p.m. ET today. He was viewed by many as the most surefire free agent at wide receiver this offseason, and he decided to stay up north in Detroit.
Although Jones is able to run past defenders and catch the long ball, his 6-foot-2 frame allows him to catch contested balls over undersized defenders. His ball skills in traffic led his Bengals coaches to applaud his “toughness.”
Although some of those skills appear to mirror Johnson’s talent, Jones halted any comparisons to Megatron when asked about Johnson’s potential replacement in Detroit.
“You can’t go in there trying to be Calvin Johnson,” Jones told the Detroit Free Press at the Super Bowl last month. “You have to be who you are and what’s gotten you in this league and successful in the league.”
Although Johnson’s physical skill set and production can’t be replicated, Jones appears poised to stick to his status quo, and help the Lions return to the playoffs after finishing 7-9 this past season.