It's easy to forget how incredible Calvin Johnson was on the football field.
The wide receiver's NFL career went by in the blink of an eye. He was a nightmare for cornerbacks from the moment he entered the league until the time he was gone. Double coverage was a must for opposing defensive coordinators.
Calvin Johnson Jr. was born to parents Jason and Arica Johnson. His birthplace is Newnan, Georgia. The young Johnson was a stud at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Georgia, before going on to star for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Johnson quickly asserted himself as one of the best receivers in college football.
In his three years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he recorded 178 catches for 2,297 receiving yards and hauled in 28 touchdowns. He set several school records and collected plenty of awards along the way:
— First-Team Freshman All-American
— 2x First-Team All-American
— 3x First-Team All-ACC
— ACC Rookie of the Year (2004)
— ACC Player of the Year (2006)
— Fred Biletnikoff Award (2006)
— Paul Warfield Trophy (2006)
Johnson left Atlanta after his junior year to enter the National Football League. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
— NFL (@NFL) August 5, 2021
The former Georgia Tech player was selected second overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2007 NFL Draft.
He joined the Michigan football team ready to go. However, it wasn't until the Lions selected quarterback Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft that Johnson truly began to shine.
He posted over 1,000 receiving yards in six of the next seven seasons. His 2012 campaign was by far his best year. He set the NFL single-season receiving record with 1,964 (!) yards while catching five receiving touchdowns.
Simply put, the dude was an absolute beast. Enough to where he was likened to a robot and given the nickname Megatron.
— 3x First-Team All-Pro
— Second-Team All-Pro (2010)
— 6x Pro Bowl
—2x NFL Receiving Yards Leader
— NFL Receptions Leader (2012)
— NFL Receiving Touchdowns Co-Leader (2008)
— NFL 2010s All-Decade Team
— PFWA All-Rookie Team (2007)
Despite his immense success, Johnson lost interest in the game and had health concerns. He retired after the 2015 season at the age of 30.
Playing for the Detroit Lions has that affect on players. Just ask Barry Sanders.
On-Field Career Earnings
Peyton Manning, $248.7M
Calvin Johnson, $113.8M
Charles Woodson, $97.8M
Alan Faneca, $56.2M
John Lynch, $33M
— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 7, 2021
According to Spotrac, Johnson made nearly $114 million throughout his professional career. He signed a six-year deal worth $64 million as a rookie, making him the highest-paid receiver in guaranteed money in the league at the time.
Megatron repaid $1 million of his signing bonus back to the Lions after retiring. The original signing bonus, which he received after agreeing to an extension in 2012, was worth $3.2 million per ESPN.
Post-Retirement & Personal Life
The former American football player has stayed relatively quiet since retiring. He appeared on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" in 2016 and finished in third place with his dance partner Lindsay Arnold.
He's also a big proponent of cannabis and using it for pain management.
Johnson's marital status changed from single to married in 2016 when he tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Brittney McNorton. He brought a son from a previous relationship to the marriage.
Calvin Johnson Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Calvin Johnson's estimated net worth is $45 million.
Megatron is right up there with Jerry Rice and Randy Moss as one of the best receivers the world has ever seen. He'll be remembered as such as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2021 class. Every team from the Dallas Cowboys to the Chicago Bears feared lining up against him. It usually took two or three guys to slow him down.
Johnson may have walked away from football early, but he certainly didn't walk away empty-handed.
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