As part of a series promoting the remake of the movie RoboCop, which is actually set in Detroit, we were tasked with deciding which player we would want to turn into a robot. Lucky for us, we already have a player nicknamed Megatron, and I figured this would be a good time to check in on what kind of career numbers Calvin Johnson has put up now that he's been in the NFL for seven seasons.
Here's a rundown of Johnson's career numbers:
Yards receiving: 9,328
Receiving touchdowns: 66
Johnson caught 84 passes for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013 despite playing in only 14 games. He recently had knee surgery and finger surgery to repair various injuries that gave him problems throughout this past season, and hopefully those procedures will result in him being healthier and more productive in 2014. Also, hopefully the Detroit Lions will be able to find a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver this offseason to take some of the pressure off Johnson going forward.
Johnson already holds the Lions' receiving records for most career yards and most career touchdowns, and he's only 99 receptions away from breaking the team's career catches record. To break the NFL's all-time record for yards receiving, which is held by Jerry Rice (22,895 yards), Johnson needs 13,568 more yards over the rest of his career. Considering Johnson averaged 88 yards a game in his first seven seasons, he would need to play approximately 155 more games (nearly 10 more seasons) to break Rice's record if he keeps up that pace.
Considering he's Megatron, you never say never, but Johnson will turn 29 years old next season. I just can't imagine that he will still be playing football in 2023, but then again, he put up much bigger numbers in his last three seasons compared to his first four years in the league. Johnson actually averaged around 112 yards a game from 2011-13. It'll be tough to do, but if he can keep up that kind of a pace going forward, he could conceivably break Rice's all-time record with another 122 games or so (around eight more seasons).
It remains to be seen if Johnson will have the longevity to break Rice's record, and it remains to be seen if Johnson will be able to keep his production at a high enough level to even have a shot at breaking it. However, if anybody is going to actually catch Rice, Megatron seems like the best bet to break the record.