Calvin Johnson contemplating retirement

AP

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson might call it quits.

“Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future,” Johnson said in a statement released by the Lions Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson added that he expects to reach a decision “in the not-too-distant future.”

Johnson has 11,619 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns in his nine-year career. He turned 30 last September.

He was recently selected to his sixth straight Pro Bowl.

A former teammate who wished to remain anonymous told the Detroit Free Press “it’s just his time” and that he’s talked with Johnson about retirement.

132 responses to “Calvin Johnson contemplating retirement

  1. One of the best ever. Sure HOFer, I would suspect.

    I was tired of my job at 30 and thought about retirement, then, I looked in my checkbook and decided against it.

  2. seems to be one of those types that have so much more to offer the world than football…I’m pretty sure he’s banged up, even so, he’s still tough to handle out there…I wish him well if he does retire

  3. Great player. Great attitude. Was never a me first guy. Sad to see him go if he does retire, even though I watched many times where he owned my team.

  4. Yeah, the lions tend to have that effect on Superstars when they are lucky enough to draft one. Is this really worth it for another 7-9 season ?

  5. Oh crap. I love the Lions, but look at what they have done to the two greatest players in franchise history…

  6. Wow, Definetly one of the greatest since 2000 to step on the field for his position. Up there with the likes of Harrison, Fitzgerald, moss, Owens, etc. Would really miss his spectacular play if he calls it quits, but hope he does what’s best for him

  7. If this is it for megatron, as a bengals fan salute. One of the few top 10 draft pick WRs that actually exceeded expectations and was a absolute beast. Won’t ever forget the track meet he and AJ Green had in 2013 when the bengals and lions played where he caught a TD in TRIPLE COVERAGE!

  8. One of the classiest players ever to put on an NFL uniform. Actually, ANY professional sports’ uniform. Never throws anybody under the bus. Always accepts responsibility, good or bad, for his play. Always on board with his coaching staff. The consummate team player. Incredible work ethic. There are a lot of players in this league who would benefit greatly from being forced to spend a week shadowing CJ. Oh, and he’s also a lock for the Hall of Fame.

  9. One of the classiest players ever to put on an NFL uniform. Actually, ANY professional sports’ uniform. Never throws anybody under the bus. Always accepts responsibility, good or bad, for his play. Always on board with his coaching staff. The consummate team player. Incredible work ethic. There are a lot of players in this league who would benefit greatly from being forced to spend a week shadowing CJ. Oh, and he’s also a lock for the Hall of Fame.

  10. Walking away for a year might not be the worse thing. He’s been riddled with injuries and probably is beat up mentally. Having so many losing seasons can challenge a players commitment. It would be a shame to see him walk away permanently.

  11. losing can make u contemplate it. he’s still a BEAST and better than at least 90% of the WR’s in the game today

  12. He shouldn’t be in the ProBowl anyway. Allen Robinson had a better year then him. He deserved to be in it. Stupid name recognition is all it was.

  13. Lions fan here.

    Calvin is a class act. Was on some horrible teams in his time here, and also a few decent ones. All the while he never complained, never stepped out of line, never had one off the field scandal, and he was a great community guy.

    He could have left and made a load of cash somewhere else, but he chose to stay here. Everyone knows that he will prob have to take a pay cut to stay here, and prob to play somewhere else, so I am not surprised to hear he is hanging it up. He also is prob a self aware guy, while he is still good, he isn’t the dominate player he once was and he knows that.

    Michigan is a state that values loyalty over winning, Calvin will go down in local lore as one of the most beloved players in Detroit history and get mentioned with Gordie Howe, Al Kaline, Barry Sanders, ETC. Calvin doesn’t want to leave, crack all the jokes you want, but he seems to like it here. He has plenty of money and prob is time to quit while he can still walk.

  14. He clearly wants out of Detroit and on to one of the better franchises be it NE, Denver, Carolina, AZ, Pittsburgh.

    He’s made his money and I’d guess its not worth the punishment to continue playing for a loser. He wants to win in time he has left.

  15. PATRIOTSDYNASTYLIVES says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:30 PM
    Nothing that a trade a Foxboro wouldnt fix to help rejuvenate him….ala Rany Moss……….

    ==============================
    Yes, because it’s everyone’s ultimate goal to cheat their way to a Super Bowl title…

  16. This is not meant as disrespect. But he doesn’t like to get hit, or go over the middle. Never has. Rock him early in a game, that’s the book on him, and its only going to get harder to endure. And he’s lost maybe a whole step.

    Actually I think this shows how smart the guy is. How much money do you need? I’m impressed.

    If $20MM guaranteed were on the table, that’s one thing. But it’s not. It all depends on who they hire as HC.

  17. Megatron is no joke. As opposed to Cleveland. That city and its football team are a giant tire fire.

  18. Thank-you for being the epitome of a true professional throughout your career. The Lions never deserved you, but we Detroiters cannot thank you enough. Best of luck (and health!) in retirement if you’re done. If you are not done with the game, I hope to God that you go out and get your Championship and SB ring.

  19. I’m a Packer fan and I love watching him play even though he’s a division rival. The guy’s been nothing lights-out and always a class-act. It’s got to be hard to endure so many losing seasons, I’ll admit. Maybe even worse after you’ve had a couple of good winning ones.

    Hoping he sticks around whether it be on the Lions or elsewhere. Too many good years left in those hands to hang ’em up now.

  20. NOOOOOO!!!!

    Believe it or not there are “fans” on Lions message boards celebrating this news. Would you risk your health for that fanbase?

    Nah…me either.

    Thanks for everything, Calvin. You’re one of a kind.

  21. Stop saying Barry 2.0

    He lost a step injuries keep nagging him, when barry retired he could still lead the league in rushing yards.

    Calvin is still a hell of a player but is more of a split wide pass catching TE opposed to the elite receiver he once was.

  22. If Megatron wants to go out a Champion (and I suspect he does), he should seriously consider playing in Foxborough. He would have an excellent chance to win, and he would have a bigger role in the Patriots offense than he would likely find in Pittsburgh, Arizona, Denver, etc.

  23. He’s not retiring. He’s posturing for a better contract extension with the Lions since they need to whittle his salary down as much as possible. Mayhew and Lewand kept kicking the can down the road and Johnson’s cap hit next season is $24 million!! Major extension and restructure at a lesser rate needed.

  24. A one way ticket out of Detroit could really help rejuvenate his passion for the game. Gotta be hard to maintain the competitive fire and take that punishment for so long when you are that talented and stuck in a situation like Detroit for that many years.

  25. He is contemplating retirement because he fears the Lions will cut him b/c he is due 20 mil and doesn’t want to play for another team for less than that

  26. Yeah because his numbers would be so much better moving away from a team that has passed more than any other team in the league with a QB that has looked his way first his entire career.

    Pats fans are insufferable.

  27. Not really sure how to read this yet.

    For one, as a Lion’s fan I am sad to see that we have yet again squandered one of the greatest players of all time without getting him a ring or even consistently winning.

    On the same token, if this isn’t entirely about injury woes and this is Calvin saying “I want out of Detroit” then I sincerely hope that they accommodate him and the next GM sits down with him and his agent and finds a way to renegotiate his contract so that it is more trade friendly and send him to a real contender. If it’s heart and not health that is dragging him down I still think that if he remained healthy he would shine on a team like the Patroits or the Panthers. He’s been too good, loyal, and hardworking to waste his whole career in Detroit. Set the man free if he just doesn’t want to be here.

    All the same, the Lions owe him way too much at this point and it no longer matches up with his durability and age. I think he could play at a high level for 2 maybe 3 years tops, but he’s more like a top 5 or top 10 WR now, not the very best in the league. It might be better for both parties if he called it quits.

  28. It has to beat your body up to play WR in the NFL at 6’5″, 230lbs for 8 seasons. Especially for Detroit. He should have enough money to live a great life retiring at 30, if he so chooses.

  29. Sad day to see him want to retire. Can’t blame him though, why not go out with good health. He’s always been a team guy.

    Best of luck to him in no matter what he decides. Whether it’s retire, or play a few more years. He’s a classy guy!

  30. Pointy Williams says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:47 PM

    Thank-you for being the epitome of a true professional throughout your career. The Lions never deserved you, but we Detroiters cannot thank you enough. Best of luck (and health!) in retirement if you’re done. If you are not done with the game, I hope to God that you go out and get your Championship and SB ring.
    _________________

    I hope to God that you go out and get your Championship and SB ring … AS A DETROIT LION.

  31. RavenzGunnerz says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:35 PM

    Love football, but the damages it does to your body…. this should no longer be considered entertainment.
    ————————-

    BS. Gladiatorial combat was entertainment, and people died doing that.

  32. He might be waiting to see how the GM/Coach situation plays out. Rasheen Mathis said he’d retire if Caldwell isn’t the coach. Calvin Johnson has also voiced strong support for Caldwell.

    I doubt he’ll play for another team. He wants to retire as a Detroit Lion.

  33. I assume Megatron will do what is best for him and his family. Selfishly, I hope he gives us one more year. Objectively, I don’t think he’s a lock for the Hall of Fame without another season (or two?) above 1,000 yards. I don’t want to see him in any other uniform. The only players who “deserve” a SuperBowl ring are those who win them. I love Barry Sanders above all other football players. Still, he didn’t deserve a SuperBowl ring because he didn’t win one.

  34. I think he needs to play a few more years to lock in the Hall of Fame. He’s outside the top 20 all time in both yards AND TD’s. Maybe trying to force his way out of Detroit? I’m sure the Lions could use the cap space as well. I’d love to see him as a Giant!!

  35. In short, he wants to be traded and does not want to get a flak looking unprofessional from doing so. A Sean Payton coached team(wherever that may be)can help him aside from the Patriots and Green Bay.Big Ben can use him.It’s been a while.

  36. I salute you Megatron!!! It’s been a pleasure watching you the last nine years regardless of your decision, you owe us fans nothing and as a die hard Lions fan I wish the best for you.

  37. Calvin appears to be a stand-up guy, but I suspect he’s playing the game here.

    No professional athlete ever really WANTS to retire… talk to Brett Favre about that… he’ll come around, Lions fans… that was a long, long season.

    Give him some time. Let him vent. Then remind him he’s got a good five years left, if not more… potentially very profitable years… he’ll be back…

  38. He clearly wants out of Detroit and on to one of the better franchises be it NE, Denver, Carolina, AZ, Pittsburgh.

    Wait a minute…I thought you said one of the better franchises.

  39. @ suhmonster90

    It’s not about the numbers he would put up; it would be about putting him in a position to win a Super Bowl. I don’t think Detroit is a bad team, but I think we can all agree they’re not too close to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Going to New England would pair him with a Hall of Fame coach and QB and put him into an offense that would have a chance to be the best in history with a healthy Megatron, Gronk, Edelman and everyone else. And because Calvin has been so loyal to Detroit and its fans, I don’t think they would begrudge him the chance to go to a team with a good shot at winning a championship. Even as a Patriots fan, I hope Megatron gets a chance to play in the Super Bowl even if it isn’t here in New England. He’s an amazing talent and a hard worker.

  40. I’d retire too if I was financially set at 30. Without a doubt one of the best to ever play, maybe the best skill set all time of any receiver.
    But I’ll bet he signs on with a contender to finish out his career. Too bad it couldn’t be Detroit.

  41. I knew this dude just loved being in Detroit a few years ago. Remember when Chrysler (I think) was doing it’s whole “Imported from Detroit” ad campaign and showed that the city was on the rebound, showed Suh driving in the new model sedan, and it was all thought provoking? I think the same ad campaign played doing the Super Bowl and it had Eastwood give the whole grizzled “The second half is about to begin” narrative in regard to both the Super Bowl, but also the city of Detroit. It hit you right in the feels about Detroit.

    Right after I saw that commercial for the first time… I mean IMMEDIATELY after I saw that ad for the first time, I saw an ad starring Johnson getting suited up in a luxury… wait for it… Acura. Made in Japan. That my friends is a pretty big slap in the face of his community.

    I really don’t blame him for wanting to leave at all, but just say it. Who you are one of the best that ever played, please don’t let the fans, or your legacy as one of the best that ever played be ruined by your surrounding. You aren’t retiring, but just say you want out.

  42. “Imagine Stafford without Johnson. He would be awful!”

    For all but two games in the second half of this year Calvin was non existent. During that stretch Stafford had the best numbers of his career. Do you mean to tell me Stafford would look like Rodgers without Jordy?

    Theo and Tate both had 80 catches too! Go Calvin!

  43. Good luck Calvin, wherever you land. I don’t believe you’re really ready to retire, but are really burned out on the lyons. You have Barry Sanders fluenza.

  44. You people are nuts, I’m CJs number 1 fan but this guy has 3 years tops left in him with maybe the first 2 years playing “elite”.

  45. weepingjebus says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:31 PM

    Have a quiet conversation with Bill Belichick before you ride off into the sunset.
    ———————————-
    Good luck with that with your salary cap issues. Remember I am the person who told you all your secondary would be gone last year. New year same problem.

  46. Seems like his heart just isnt in it. Shame, hes still a great player and has more great seasons in him.

    As much as people hate the comments he should go to New England there is some merit to that. Not necessarily NE but a team with a winning culture. Hes not into individual records, so maybe a fresh start with a winning org would rejuvenate him.

  47. As a follow up to this story, Florio commented ‘Umm, Calvin you know that you can actually LEAVE Detroit during the offseason’.

    To which Calvin Johnson responded ‘Really? Well in that case, count me in for like 5 more years at $8M per’

  48. suhmonster90 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 3:07 PM
    Yeah because his numbers would be so much better moving away from a team that has passed more than any other team in the league with a QB that has looked his way first his entire career.

    Pats fans are insufferable.
    ________________________________________________ Yeah, because it’s so far-fetched to posit that Calvin Johnson might actually want to WIN SOMETHING before he retires. Insufferable, indeed.

  49. Nice work by the Lions “braintrust” to hire the unqualified doofus Jim Caldwell, who in turn hired the completely inept Joe Lombardi to waste the last two years of Calvin’s career.

    Almost as criminal as entrusting Barry to Fontes Flinstone.

  50. nycdf says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:47 PM
    Megatron is no joke. As opposed to Cleveland. That city and its football team are a giant tire fire.
    ____________________

    If Cleveland is a tire fire, then Detroit ad it’s football team are the entire car fire.

  51. Cunning Linguist says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:58 PM
    If Megatron wants to go out a Champion (and I suspect he does), he should seriously consider playing in Foxborough. He would have an excellent chance to win, and he would have a bigger role in the Patriots offense than he would likely find in Pittsburgh, Arizona, Denver, etc.
    ____________

    Why Foxborough? Why not Seattle or Cinci or GB or Pittsburgh or Arizona or Denver or Carolina?

    Apparently the only place one can win an NFL Championship is the NE Patriots? And even as we fast forward 3-4 years when 12 is retired?

  52. He shouldn’t retire. We know about money.

    The reason why he should not is his Hall of Fame candidacy. I would make him a first ballot hall of Famer. However, with Marvin Harrison’s trouble to get in, voter stupidity, and the voter’s need to make it about when the player retired and inexcusable tendency to put one per position since 2007, he will have a hard time getting in; especially with no Super Bowl rings and 1000-catch and 100-touchdown career.

  53. jolink653 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 3:34 PM
    @ suhmonster90

    It’s not about the numbers he would put up; it would be about putting him in a position to win a Super Bowl. I don’t think Detroit is a bad team, but I think we can all agree they’re not too close to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Going to New England would pair him with a Hall of Fame coach and QB and put him into an offense that would have a chance to be the best in history with a healthy Megatron, Gronk, Edelman and everyone else. And because Calvin has been so loyal to Detroit and its fans, I don’t think they would begrudge him the chance to go to a team with a good shot at winning a championship. Even as a Patriots fan, I hope Megatron gets a chance to play in the Super Bowl even if it isn’t here in New England. He’s an amazing talent and a hard worker.
    ________

    Going to New England also gets you a chance to play on a team that has been bitten by the injury bug like NE has. There are no guarantees. Not to mention that Father Time is going to catch up to #12 sooner rather than later.

  54. If they had stability in place I doubt it comes to this. New front office will want to tie their wagon to a coach staff of their choosing. Does he want to live through yet another DET rebuild? Would you?

  55. Yeah about that retirement…..

    Translation “Trade me I am sick of this crap”

    That’s too bad. Fans of Detroit and Cleveland must be so sick of the mismanagement, coaching, etc.

    At least Cleveland made a good move in hiring Depodesta.

  56. Coming from a Lions fan, great player, but winning teams don’t pay $20 plus million a year for WRs. Last 7 super bowel winners. Patriots, Seahawks, Ravens, Giants, Packers, Saints, Steelers. These teams had good QB play and good coaching. Protect the QB and get after the opposing QB. That is where your money should be spent. Thanks for your services Megatron.

  57. Rdog says:
    Jan 6, 2016 3:08 PM
    Talk with Bill Belichick? He needs to talk to Johnny Manziel to learn how to get off a bad team.
    =================================
    No he needs to talk to Belichick. The only thing Manziel knows is how to get off one bad team and get on another bad team. Other than that, Manziel knows nothing.

  58. midenginerearwheeldrive says:
    Jan 6, 2016 4:42 PM

    Why Foxborough? Why not Seattle or Cinci or GB or Pittsburgh or Arizona or Denver or Carolina?

    Apparently the only place one can win an NFL Championship is the NE Patriots? And even as we fast forward 3-4 years when 12 is retired?
    ———————–

    The odds are definitely better at New England, and maybe Seattle.

    I certainly wouldn’t consider Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Denver, or Carolina as Super Bowl contenders on a consistent basis.

  59. Bottom line Lions are going to cut him…while he is still playing at a high level. Still in the top 10 in the league. The great WR’s in Canton in modern times played an avg of 12+ years , well into their mid to late 30’s.

    When he becomes a UFA, let the highest bidder win the privilege to have him on your team.

    Go Raiders… Go Reggie

  60. Larry Fitzgerald, 13,366 yards, 98 TDs, 32 yrs old, still killing it. Because he was able to adapt his game as his body aged.

  61. Both Barry and Calvin are two of the best ever at their positions and show nothing but class. They are what I wish more athletes were like. Detroit fans, for whatever crap you take about your team, at least you have those two guys to fall back on.

  62. Try to get your agent to work out a trade to the Pats, ala Randy Moss, rework your contract so they can threepeat next year and you get a Super Bowl ring, Calvin.

    Brady to Megatron, Brady to Gronk, Brady to Edleman, Brady to Amendola, Brady to Dion Lewis, Brady hands off to Jackson.

    That would cause the haters so much grief if Johnson was traded to the Pats. They must have cheated!

  63. I really do feel sorry for Lions Fans.
    I keep forgetting just how many years of futility the team has gone through.

    Every time they seem to make progress and be headed for success, it ends up being very fleeting, and then the franchise goes seriously south again and seems to stay that way for years.

    They have only had THREE winning seasons in 20 years for crying out loud.

    Must be tough to be a Lions Fan. I give anybody credit who sticks with them as a fan!

  64. wallyspo says:
    That my friends is a pretty big slap in the face of his community.
    ———————-
    Neither Suh or Johnson did a Ford ad, and that’s who owns the team.

  65. meltuckersfreerelease says:
    Jan 6, 2016 2:46 PM
    This is not meant as disrespect. But he doesn’t like to get hit, or go over the middle. Never has.
    ————————————–
    Perhaps you should actually WATCH a game or two before you post, you might not sound like you know nothing.
    If CJ retires, I wish him nothing but the best, He gave his all for the team. Thank you Megatron!

  66. Has there ever been a more self-absorbed fanbase than the Patriots? Good god, the NFL world does not revolve around your tainted franchise. I can hardly wait for Brady to retire and the inevitable return to irrelevance that will soon follow.

    Anyway, back to Calvin. HOF player and an even better person. If he decides that this is it for him, then I wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We were all fortunate to watch him play.

  67. Here’s my best advice to CJ:

    Retire.

    Unretire.

    Go to Jets.

    Retire.

    Unretire.

    Go to Vikings.

    Text some random women pictures of your junk.

    Lose in NFC Championship.

    Retire again.

    Return to Lions as a celebrated hero.

    LOL

  68. It’s very clear to Detroit fans that HE DOES NOT WANT OUT. if it was a ploy to leave, he’d be the biggest liar ever, because fromy HIS MOUTH, the opposite has always come out. we know the guys’ character, ando he’s no liar. He’s just beat to hell. His huge cap # next year is a result of him being a TEAM first guy, and kicking the cam down the road with his contract restructures. Give him a few weeks. Lions management, new or not, would be nuts to let him go. This team isn’t nearly as far off contending as most think. And enough detroit bashing already, the people here are absolutely wonderful. Especially for those that haven’t even been here…..the absolute definition of ignorance.

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