The Detroit Lions, after losing superstar receiver Calvin Johnson to retirement, signed wide receiver Marvin Jones to a five-year, $40 million deal, according to Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.
Of the $40 million, $27 will come in the first three seasons and $13 will be handed to Jones during the last two. The contract makes Jones the highest paid receiver on the Lions team.
The agreement between the two parties comes less than a day after Johnson announced he would retire from the National Football League after nine seasons, all with Detroit.
“Nobody should expect me to come in and be Calvin Johnson and do what Calvin Johnson does,” Jones said. “I’m Marvin Jones, and I feel like I’ll come in here and everybody will definitely be pleased, and I just got to do what I have to do and that’s go in there and take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way, make the plays I make and help this team win. And I know I’ll come in and do that.”
Behind top ranked receiver Golden Tate, the Lions have TJ Jones, Corey Fuller, Corey Washington, Austin Willis and Ryan Spadola, who all have minimal or no experience on the NFL field. Jones will start on the left side and Tate on the right side with Matthew Stafford tossing out passes.
Jones, a 6-foot-2, 198 pound speedster, caught 65 passes for 816 yards and four touchdowns from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton as Jones was the No. 2 receiver behind A.J. Green last season. It was his first season being back after foot and ankle injuries caused the 25-year-old to miss the 2014 season.
The Bengals drafted Jones in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2013, he caught a career-high 10 touchdown passes and caught four of them in a 49-9 win over the New York Jets.
Look for Jones to catch passes inside the 20-yard line and in traffic. He will make moves with his feet and push for extra yards with his toughness. Jones has 15 career touchdowns in 43 games played. He will easily expand those numbers with the Lions due to the fact that Jones will play a primary receiver role.
“It was about me and the opportunity that I was going to get coming to Detroit,” Jones said. “It heated up, and I won’t get into details about other teams, but they wanted me and they let it be known, and I wanted to be there. Be here, I should say. It was just intriguing, and it just worked out.”