Calvin Johnson is retiring according to an ESPN report. Adam Schefter has reported today that Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson told his family and a close circle of friends before last season that 2015 would be his final year in the NFL. Johnson also told coach Jim Caldwell the day after the regular season ended, sources told ESPN. While Johnson has not officially announced one way or another what his future holds, it looks like he is hanging up his spikes for good.
Reports indicate that Johnson has been sore for so long, that he shared his decision to retire after the 2015 season before the regular season began with quarterback Matthew Stafford and linebacker Stephen Tulloch. Johnson reportedly asked the two star players to keep what he shared with them quiet and confidential, and obviously they did. For the Lions fan base, this brings back memories of Barry Sanders, who also retired in his prime. While Sanders’ retirement wasn’t seen coming by anyone, Johnson’s has been rumored for months before the 2015 season concluded.
The Lions are still waiting for an official announcement, and perhaps hoping Johnson will change his mind. If Johnson does retire, it will be interesting to see which way the Lions go when it comes to the 2016 NFL draft. CJ was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Lions, and had his best season in 2012, when he set the NFL single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards. Johnson is the Lions’ all-time franchise leader in career receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619). Even though he was slowing down a bit due to injuries, his presence will be missed on the field immediately for Detroit.
At the tender age of 30, it seems that Johnson should be able to play two or three more season, however it seems injuries have taken their toll on one of the best receivers in the game today.