Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is on the verge of setting the NFL single-season receiving record, and the significance isn't lost on him. Johnson told the Detroit Free Press's Carlos Monarrez that the record is "a big deal."
Jerry Rice, the former San Francisco 49ers great who set the record with 1,848 yards in 1995, isn't necessarily happy to see one of his records fall, but with so many to his name, he's willing to let Johnson write his name in the record book:
"I have 40 records," Rice said. "I don't mind giving him one."
Johnson currently has 1,667 yards, 181 short of the mark. If he averages 91 yards per game in his final two contests this year, he'll claim the record. Johnson understands the value of the record and understands Rice's desire to keep it for himself:
"Who would (want to give it up)?" Johnson said Thursday. "They're NFL records. Those are big. Those are big deals."
Johnson has emerged as the NFL's best receiver over the past two seasons. In 2011, he totaled 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns, leading the NFL in the former and finishing second in the latter. His touchdown numbers have severely declined this year -- he has just five -- but his total yards prove he's still a huge threat.