Calvin Johnson is the headliner among nine players with Detroit Lions ties who made the initial cut as nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class of 2021.
Johnson is in his first year of eligibility after retiring following the 2015 season. He spent his entire 9-year career with the Lions, earning three All-Pro nods and making six Pro Bowls. “Megatron” still holds the NFL record for receiving yards in a season with 1,964 in 2012 and his 86.1 receiving yards per game ranks fourth all-time.
Longtime Lions kicker Jason Hanson, who ranks fourth all-time in scoring, joins several players from the 1990s Detroit teams on the nominee list. Left tackle Lomas Brown and guard/center Kevin Glover both made the cut. So did linebacker Chris Spielman and return man extraordinaire Mel Gray.
Three others who played for the Lions but aren’t primarily known for their time in Motown also appear on the list of 130: QB Dave Krieg, OLB Pat Swilling and PK David Akers.
The full list of nominees, which includes first-timers Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson, is available via the Pro Football Hall of Fame .
The list of nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November. The selection committee then whittles down to 15 in January before announcing the class in February.