After Lions Hall of Fame tailback Barry Sanders abruptly retired, rumors of a return lingered for years. With Lions receiver Calvin Johnson reportedly retiring, the question becomes whether he’d consider returning after a year or so away from the game.
It’s a possibility that emerged during a four-man PFT weave during Monday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, with MDS, Darin Gantt, and Josh Alper joining me for three segments of the show. And if, for example, Johnson would retire for a year and then unretire, the Lions would have to instantly account under the cap for his 2016 base salary of nearly $16 million.
So they’d either have to cut him, trade him, or keep him. If the unretirement comes at at time when the Lions have less than $16 million in cap space available, the Lions would have to move quickly to get under the cap, if they wanted to keep him. If they’d cut him, it would allow Johnson to get a fresh start with the new team of his choice.
No one knows how Johnson will feel after having some time away from the game. Whether it’s a year from now or just six months from now, a change of heart for Johnson is possible — and it could turn the NFL on its head.