The most prolific wide receiver in franchise history and one of the most talented at the position in NFL history is retiring after nine professional seasons in which he accumulated over 11,000 receiving yards, seven 1,000-yard seasons and six Pro Bowl invitations.
With Johnson’s retirement, Golden Tate steps into the WR1 role assuming the Lions don’t target a receiver in the 1st round of the draft (or acquire a bona fide WR1 via trade). Over the last two seasons, in 11 games in which Johnson was questionable, doubtful or out, Tate averaged 6.6 receptions for 77 yards and 0.73 TD. That’s about what Allen Robinson scored as the #6 WR in PPR formats in 2015. It’s also solid WR1 production in standard formats. Tate averaged 5.5 catches for 62 yards and 0.10 TD (high-end WR3 numbers in PPR) in the other 21 games. The defense will be more focused on Tate, so we’re expecting WR2 numbers in 2016. Eric Ebron also stands to benefit greatly from Johnson's departure.