Lions finalize $40 million, 5-year deal with WR Marvin Jones
DETROIT (AP) Calvin Johnson's stats will be hard to match, but Marvin Jones figures there's at least one way he can measure up to Megatron.
''I'm not coming here trying to replace Calvin Johnson. Nobody can replace Calvin Johnson,'' Jones said.
''He's definitely one of a kind, and we probably won't see anybody like him. But what I will replace that he left is his integrity, on and off the field - just the way he carried himself and his character overall.''
Jones finalized his $40 million, five-year contract with Detroit, and the Lions introduced him on a conference call Thursday. After losing Johnson to retirement, Detroit was in the market for a receiver. Jones is the man the Lions are bringing in, and his initial comments on replacing Johnson were fairly standard for a player with big shoes to fill.
''I'm here to be me,'' Jones said. ''I'm here to do what I can do to help this team win and to succeed, and that's all that I can do.''
Jones, who turns 26 on Saturday, was with the Cincinnati Bengals for four years. He missed the 2014 season after foot and ankle injuries, but he played in all 16 games last season.
Jones caught 65 passes for 816 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Bengals. He was drafted in the fifth round out of California in 2012. After catching 18 passes as a rookie, Jones had 51 receptions for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2013 season.
Johnson caught 88 passes for 1,214 yards and nine TDs last season - and that was actually a bit of a dip from his 2011-13 peak. Without him, the Lions will have to hope Golden Tate, Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron can team up with Jones to help the passing game flourish.
Matthew Stafford has thrown for at least 4,200 yards in each of the past five seasons, but he'll be under a microscope now with Johnson gone. Jones said he's already spoken with Stafford.
''Just (talked about) how excited we both were to play with each other,'' Jones said. ''He congratulated me, and we're ready to work.''
Tate has 189 catches in two seasons with Detroit, so Stafford will have some talented targets to throw to. Jones, who played alongside A.J. Green in Cincinnati, said he doesn't get caught up in who the No. 1 receiver is.
''I know we have a lot of talent here and we'll all step up to the plate and make our plays,'' he said. ''I'm just worried about being on this field and producing and giving it my best shot.''
Also on Thursday, the Lions announced that they have signed safety Tavon Wilson, cornerback Johnson Bademosi and defensive tackle Stefan Charles.
Wilson played the past four seasons with the New England Patriots after being drafted by them in the second round in 2012. He appeared in nine games for the Patriots during the 2015 season and finished with 10 tackles, eight solo.
In his four seasons with New England, Wilson started four games, all as a rookie. Bob Quinn, Detroit's new general manager, previously worked in the New England organization.
''I've known Bob for a while now,'' Wilson said. ''It was a great opportunity for me, it was good for both sides, and that's why I'm here.''
Bademosi has been a special teams standout for Cleveland. He played for the Browns the past four seasons.
Bademosi was undrafted out of Stanford in 2012. Last season, he was an NFL co-leader in special teams tackles with 17, 12 solo. He ranks second in the league with 61 special teams tackles since 2012.
Charles comes to the Lions after three seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He played 13 games last season with one start, tallying 13 tackles - nine solo - along with a sack and a forced fumble.
Detroit wide receiver Corey Fuller re-signed with the team. The Lions had exclusive rights to him.
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