Lions announce Calvin Johnson is retiring from football

AP

Another day, another retirement of one of the best to ever play his position.

The Lions just announced that wide receiver Calvin Johnson was retiring from football, effective immediately.

The team said Johnson had filed his retirement paperwork with the league, and that all contractual matters with the team “were settled to the satisfaction of the parties.”

The Lions gain $11.1 million in cap room with the move, which they can definitely use heading into the new league year as they try to replace one of the game’s brightest stars.

There was some question as to whether the 30-year-old Johnson was trying to finagle a release, so he could play somewhere else. But the wording of the Lions’ statement indicates that’s not the case.

53 responses to “Lions announce Calvin Johnson is retiring from football

  1. One of my all-time favorite players in college and pro. Enjoy the ride into the sunset Megatron. If you get to bored we have room for you in San Fran. #GoNiners

  2. I’m not here to make any jokes about players wanting to retire because they play for the Lions, but that is crazy that two of the most talented players of the past 30 years that have retired “early,” both played for the Lions.

  3. His body must be telling him it’s over. I thought for sure he had another 2-3 decent seasons left. Guess not. Happy retirement Calvin. Go have a drink with Marshawn and Peyton.

  4. Thank you CJ football going out with class, wish you could have had more team success…best of luck 81

  5. We can go ahead and pump the brakes on that “best to ever play in his position.” He was a fine receiver who benefitted more from his size and the games rules than from any talent he had. Never really saw him take over a game like the truly dominate WR’s in history. And of course, he never managed to elevate the team to any kind of success. He is not a HOF player.

  6. That ankle has been a huge problem for about four years now, and although I hate to see him go it’s time to move on. Probably the right choice for Calvin even it is painful as a Lions fan.

    Dan Quinn, time to prove your worth.

  7. Truly, truly, one of the GREATS! So, so classy. Calvin, this is a sad day in football, but understandable for you. A man has to follow his heart and do what his body is telling him to do. I will miss seeing you play, that is the truth!

  8. “There was some question as to whether the 30-year-old Johnson was trying to finagle a release, so he could play somewhere else.”

    Only by the media. It’s been noted that those close to him have angrily refuted this, saying his decision was based purely on his health, and rightfully so. But no need to bring that up I suppose.

  9. Thank you for your service Calvin. One of the most dominant players I’ve ever seen–I especially recall that catch over three defenders in Dallas in a huge comeback a few years back.

    Very sad to see him go without winning a playoff game, but Lions fans (and hopefully the rest of the league) will never forget how good this guy was. While his career totals may be a bit short of HOF-worthy, I think he belongs.

  10. schmokes, what’s your real name, Lynn Swann? I’m assuming you haven’t watched many Lions games. It’s all good. Coming from someone who has, this man has most definitely taken over games and his team has won his fair share of them in large part because of Megatron. I can’t imagine how terrible the team would have been without him. Let me end on….

    BEST TO EVER PLAY THE POSITION.

  11. schmokes says:
    Mar 8, 2016 11:13 AM
    We can go ahead and pump the brakes on that “best to ever play in his position.” He was a fine receiver who benefitted more from his size and the games rules than from any talent he had. Never really saw him take over a game like the truly dominate WR’s in history. And of course, he never managed to elevate the team to any kind of success. He is not a HOF player.

    ——————————

    Yeah never took a game over… especially not when he had 329 yards against the Cowboys and feel 18 yards short of breaking the single game record.

  12. Never seen him take over a game¿ So the 329 yards he had against the Cowboys was just a ho-hum average game? I’ll agree he wasn’t the best ever but to say he wasn’t dominant is ignorant.

  13. I agree with Calvin. He doesn’t see him in other uniform, has no motivation to keep playing for the Lions, made millions throughout his short career, and is healthy to enjoy his life by the side of his family. Good move!

  14. If true, I really wish he could have gotten at least an NFL Championship. I never heard about him off the field or demanding this or that, it was refreshing. Best wishes in retirement.

  15. I don’t know about “best to play his position” either schmokes but he had a game against Dallas where he had 329 yards on 14 catches. I would say that’s taking over a game and dominating.

  16. Bittersweet time for Lions fans, who’ve already suffered through the stunning and abrupt departure of legendary Barry Sanders while he still had gas in the tank. It will be sad to see him leave without tasting some post season glory but good to see the departure handled with grace, class and mutual respect. Thank you for the effort and the memories, Megatron.

    p.s. Deangelo Williams, please keep your Twitter shut.

  17. “One of the best to ever play in his position” =/= “the best to play his position.” Intentionally leaving the first part out is intellectually dishonest.

    You also seem to believe in the fantasy that one player can single-handedly turn a bad team into a good team in the ultimate team sport. Sorry, but the wide receiver doesn’t play defense, doesn’t kick, doesn’t open holes in the line for RB’s, doesn’t snap the ball, etc, etc.

    You are correct that he is not a HoF player, but only because he will not be eligible for 5 years. Get used to the idea that he will ultimately have a bust in Canton.

  18. How can you say you never saw him take over a game??? That is just crazy talk. There was a stretch of games in 2012 where he was the entire DET offense. Unfortunately the Lions defense was historically bad, but that’s not on him. If you want a specific game, watch his against Dallas in 2013. The final score was basically Calvin 31 – Dallas 30. You can’t blame him for the Lions ineptitude during his time there any more than you can blame Barry Sanders for all of Detroit’s struggles during his career.

  19. As a fan of a rival NFC North team who saw this dude twice a year…

    …One of the best WR’s all time. Although I havent seen as many Lions games as their fans obviously, I have seen enough to understand that Megatron re-defined the word “Dominance”, all too often he would simply impose his will upon defenses, no matter how they attempted to stack the deck against him. I don’t think people(especially AFC fans who rarely got to saw him outside of highlight reels) can really understand his impact at his position, we aren’t even going to put into consideration the mess that was the other 21 starters around him doing whatever the mess they had calling the plays was messing around with at the time. Even with all of those factors aside, he was incredible, they just don’t make them like Megatron.

    Im bummed out I don’t get to see him anymore, hopefully he goes into broadcasting.

  20. NFL and Lions are losing a young man that personified class and integrity. He represents the majority of players who go about their business professionally without creating or being involved in scandals or the police blotter.

    Best wishes!

  21. And with that, Laquan Treadwell becomes the odds-on favorite as the Lions 1st round pick.

  22. CJ, you’re a class act on and off the field. Truly sorry the Lions’ organization wasted your prime years and they could never put a championship caliber team on the field with you.

  23. Calvin Johnson is one of the most dominant receivers I have ever seen. However, if TO was not first ballot, then there is no way he is either. Manning and Woodson, for sure though.

  24. Teams created coverages to deal with him. I remember the Jets putting two guys on him at the line of scrimmage to bracket him, it looked like punt coverage. And one of them was Darrelle Revis.

    31 defensive coordinators just breathed a sigh of relief.

  25. You guys are delusional if you think he has never had injuries pile up on him. His situation and Barry’s situation are completely different.

  26. This is the type of person … honest, never confrontational, great teammate, loyal to his ownership, no arrest or court records … the NFL should mourn losing. Now manning on the other hand …

  27. ctiggs says:
    Mar 8, 2016 11:10 AM

    One of my all-time favorite players in college and pro. Enjoy the ride into the sunset Megatron. If you get to bored we have room for you in San Fran. #GoNiners
    _______________________

    The Lions will always own Calvin’s rights. But I get and respect where you’re coming from.

  28. Detroit Lions, where great players careers are dashed on the rocks of terrible ownership and management. First Sanders, now CJ. Sad.

  29. He quit because he can’t handle playing for the dumbest coach in NFL history Jim Caldwell any longer. That is the truth

  30. silvercrush33 says:

    ……..I’m assuming you haven’t watched many Lions games. It’s all good. Coming from someone who has, this man has most definitely taken over games and his team has won his fair share of them in large part because of Megatron. I can’t imagine how terrible the team would have been without him. Let me end on….

    BEST TO EVER PLAY THE POSITION.

    —————————————————————–

    He might be the best WR of the 2000s, but don’t kid yourself. I have two words that will set the record straight…..

    Jerry Rice.

    And if you’re too young to remember him playing, it’s okay. Just recognize that Rice is the greatest WR in the history of the game. Nobody else comes close.

  31. If you don’t think Megatron belongs in the HOF you are nuts. For some the flame burns bright, if not for very long. Johnson deserves to be in just like Gale Sayers – phenoms who dominated their position for several years, doing things that you wouldn’t believe if you hadn’t seen it live. The triple covered TD against Cincy and the whole 329 yard game against Dallas (could have had 4 TDs with a little luck) were my favorites. A talent to be missed. Look forward to seeing him in a gold jacket.

  32. Great job Quin and Wood! We can see how different things are already in Allen Park already! It’s clear that the Lions did not want Johnson back at his money. There was no Keep Johnson Rally. No retirement Year all out playoff run. Just done. Seems pretty Lionesque here so far. Should the coaching staff and new mgmt get a pass on this retirement. Lets all do the Lion shoulder shrug and carry on.

    I’m not sure pressing for a decision on this before the snow melts was the right call. Let the man get outside a little bit and feel spring, get a little warmst on those aching aging joints. Its not like there is anyone out there worth the equal money. I am afraid to see who we get with this new cap room.

    The Lions say they want to win… With 40M + cap room entering free agency, I would think the Lions should be adding some great talent. The spicket is open so let the talent parade begin down Woodward Ave!

    Honestly, I think I will need some extra blue kool aid this off-season. We only need to replace most of our defense and Calvin Johnson. Don’t worry though, as usual, the Lions will be unbelievably talented on paper within the next three months.

    I would keep enough to cap room just in case he changes his mind come July. If he wants to unretire after we use the cap space then we will be faced with cutting calvin or someone else and back with dead money. May not need the whole amount if he changes his mind, but perhaps the lions may be better off to be prudent with that money until we know retirement is the true intent here.

  33. CJ, you and Barry are the sole reasons I am and always will be a Lions fan. Take care of yourself. It was a pleasure watching you play all these years. I’ll never forget sitting in the end zone of your first pro game against Oakland. I had classless Raider fans throwing beer on me as I cheered your first career TD.

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