Around the NFL  

 

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson mulling retirement

Calvin Johnson might have played his last NFL snap.

The Detroit Lions' receiver released a statement Wednesday stating that he's calculating his future.

"Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future," Johnson said. "I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future."

The statement came minutes after speculation swirled around Megatron's future.

The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett cited and unnamed former teammate who believes Johnson could walk away from football after nine seasons.

"...But I think the guy's beat up," the ex-teammate said. "I think he's been through enough. And I think it's just his time. He's made the money, got the records, but whatever. I don't know for sure if he's going to do it. I don't know if he's going to get that itch to keep going. I really don't know."

Longtime Detroit media personality Terry Foster penned a column on Tuesday suggesting Megatron could retire early. Foster noted that Megatron kept the ball after his final touchdown grab in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears -- Johnson's 83rd career score, which seemed to have little other significance.

The Lions released a statement Wednesday regarding Johnson's future:

"We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future."

Endless speculation about Johnson's future has spiraled this season. His declining play -- just two 100-yard games in 2015 -- coupled with a $24 million cap hit put his future with the Lions in doubt.

Now Johnson, 30, might take his future into his own hands.

Megatron owns the NFL's single-season receiving yards record with 1,964 in 2012. He also has the most consecutive games with at least 100-yards receiving (8) and is tied for the most career games with 200-plus yards receiving (5). Johnson holds a plethora of Lions franchise receiving records, including most career touchdown receptions (80), most career receiving yards (11,619) and most career 70-plus yard receptions (8).

Despite playing through multiple nagging injuries in his career, Johnson has been one of the most transcendent receivers in the modern NFL, earning him a ground-breaking contract in 2012.

It wouldn't be the first time Lions fans watched an all-time great playmaker walk away with juice left in the tank. Barry Sanders retired from Detroit in 1998 under similar circumstances -- he was also 30 years old and played 10 seasons for the Lions.

One unnamed former player told Foster that playing for the losing Lions can sap the joy from football.

"Playing in this city takes all the love out of the game," he told Foster. "All the cash and all the records means nothing. It beats you up."

Perhaps only the Lions can grind down all-time greats with such vigor.

Fan Discussion