By: Jeff Riger
It seems about official as it can be without an actual statement or press conference. Calvin Johnson is retiring and with him goes one of the truly special talents Lions fans have ever seen.
It's actually pretty sad considering Megatron didn't win anything and many view his time in Detroit as a waste. I'm one of those people. Too many times Johnson found himself playing in meaningless games compiling meaningless stats.
But it's time to move on...
With Johnson being out of the mix it's time the Lions blow it all up; decide who stays and then deal the rest. The Lions as is won't win anything. Could they make the playoffs in 2016 with a favorable schedule that is ahead? Sure, but we all know they won't go much further than that. It doesn't take Vince Lombardi to realize this is a flawed team with too few playmakers and even less depth.
Now that Calvin's gone, so too should be the quarterback who threw him so many passes over the years. I'm not the first to say this but I might believe it the most.
Stafford has two more years left on his deal and would draw massive interest if the Lions decided to deal him. With an impressive finish to 2015, Stafford comes with the illusion that the 27-year-old has finally figured it out. If General Manager Bob Quinn did decide to shop his QB he could sit back and watch an enormous bidding war take place knowing full well he'll be getting in return multiple high draft picks that could help his team actually turn into a credible, serious, actual ...well...organization that might actually make you proud one day.
I understand that Detroit is smitten with the new bro-mance between Stafford and new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter — but is it for real? Will it last? Was the last half of 2015 real?
Stafford has spent 7 years being the signal caller for the Lions and in that time I'm not sure I can think of an actual big game that's he's won. Sure, he put together a nice 2011 season (which ended in a playoff loss to the Saints) but that was 4 seasons ago. The thought back then was Stafford would only continue to improve, which has not happened. It's way too risky to believe that Cooter has changed Stafford. It's prime time to trade him now. A team would get him for two years and then could decide if they wished to extend him. Trade him any later than this offseason and the value the Lions would get back would be far less.
Everybody is different, but eventually you realize that Stafford is not the guy who can lead this franchise to the ultimate goal. You've heard the arguments about it all not being his fault, and I agree to an extent, but he gets paid the most and is the most important player on the field. It's asinine to believe he's blameless.
Go ahead...Name a big game or signature win that Stafford carries with him.
I can't think of one but I'm open to suggestions. The last half of 2015 is fools gold...it's the trend: Lose the big games but win the rest that don't matter at all.
Quinn allegedly has been handed the car keys with all the power in the world. Forgive me if I don't believe it considering what head coach he decided to stick with. But this could be his chance not only to prove that he is the man calling the shots but to also make his team significantly better in years to come. Allegedly Quinn's strong suit is the draft. So why not give him all the picks possible to prove it? Plus, trading Stafford will lessen his cap hit for 2016 which means even more money to spend as the GM sees fit.
Stafford and Calvin have shared a lot over the years. From the numerous connections on the field to their impressive stats that ring way too hollow. An exit from Detroit for both would seem very fitting.
Of course, rumor has it that Lions owner Martha Ford wants Calvin back...so what probably will happen is we'll see the old band back on the field next year, and by week 3 we'll all be saying our favorite three letters...
C'mon, say it with me...SOL!
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