Matthew Stafford doesn’t think Calvin Johnson’s ever coming back

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While Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson walking away from football at the age of 30 surprised many people, his quarterback wasn’t among them.

During an interview with WJR-AM, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said he had a suspicion Johnson was leaning that way, and didn’t expect him to reverse course and reconsider now.

“For me, I take him very seriously at his word,” Stafford said, via Justin Rogers of “I’m sure he’s going to miss football. It was a big part of his life. But at the same time, I think he’s happy with his decision and he’s at peace with it. I know he’ll still pull for us, but in my mind, I don’t see [a return] happening.”

Stafford said that there were enough conversations between them over the course of seven years that he had a sense Johnson was leaning toward retirement.

“I had some inklings, and some conversations with him, and I know him well enough to know the way he was acting, the way he was talking, there was a chance it might be his last year,” Stafford said. “I wanted him to be happy. I told him, ‘If you’re happy, that’s awesome. Do it because you want to do it and don’t let anybody influence you.’ I think he’s at peace with it.”

That coincides with what Lions General Manager Bob Quinn mentioned recently on PFT Live, saying he didn’t think Johnson would have a change of heart, and avoiding the hypothetical of how they’d handle it if they did.

“Mike we haven’t even thought about that because the discussions we had with Calvin leading up to his decision, the way we left it was there was no talk about him even considering coming back,” Quinn said. “So haven’t even gotten that far.”

Considering how quietly the star receiver stepped away from a brilliant career, his decision seems to have spoken volumes to those in the organization, who now have to figure out how to score points without a guy who was once an unstoppable one-on-one matchup.

41 responses to “Matthew Stafford doesn’t think Calvin Johnson’s ever coming back

  1. Calvin made the best decision for himself and his family. Good for him. Class act, all the way. You will be missed #81.

  2. calvin johnson essentially just spit on vince lombardi’s grave. sad day.

    What does that even mean? Apparently someone thinks its 5 o’clock already and is four Miller High Lifes into the weekend.

  3. Megatron earned every yard he’s ever got. His body took a lot of punishment and I understand completely wanting to retire relatively healthy after 10 years in the NFL. It’s been a pleasure to watch 2 of the best players of all time, Barry and Calvin, play for my favorite team.

  4. Probably still be playing if he would been on a real team with a real qb. Instead of the lions and matt “just throw it up high” stafford. Dude can only run 1 play.
    Sad when some of the best players in the game would rather retire early then being stuck on lions another year.

  5. Megatron doesn’t seem like the type of guy to waffle on a decision like that — kind of like the anti-Favre.

  6. …..Stafford leaned on him waaaaay too much. Calvin just got tired of being the ONLY STAR in the offense. As the leader of team ,Stafford just doesn’t have the playoff mentality or toughness to ever get the LIONS all on the same page & to the Super Bowl……..

  7. Megatron had a awesome career, he would have been much better offor somewhere other than Detroit, but he didn’t have much choice on where he got drafted.

    Now the NFC north has a new start reciever


  8. Calvin was never going to unretire. Completely lost how this is news. If Calvin wanted to be somewhere else, he could have been. The Lions would not have carried his 23 million dollar cap hit this year. Refuse to renegotiate, get cut, and he would have been a free agent 2 months ago. By retiring, he proved that IS what he wants. Can’t wait for camps to open so we can get real stories.

  9. I knew he was done when this all got brought up after the season ended. Didn’t want to believe it, but I knew.

  10. If Belichick called him today, he would be on the next plane to Boston, don’t kid yourselves.
    There are 2 types of NFL players, Patriots and all the others who wished they were Patriots. 🙂

  11. I don’t see how anyone can have anything but huge respect for this guy. He always seemed to play the game right way and now he seems to have gone out the right way. I’d much rather see this than to see how some of these guys try to hang on for too long, becoming pitiful shells of their former selves in the process.

  12. It makes sense. His body is trashed and he has a ton of money. With no chance of winning the super bowl in the near future, why risk your long term quality of life?

  13. purplepride11 says:
    May 20, 2016 2:27 PM

    Megatron had a awesome career, he would have been much better offor somewhere other than Detroit, but he didn’t have much choice on where he got drafted.

    Now the NFC north has a new start reciever

    More like MegaSlow. Between Lequan being too slow and having one of the worst QB’s in the NFL throwing to him, he’s going to be bad. Much like the other guys the Vikings have drafted.

  14. I wish more players would play the game and handle their careers like CJ did. Seemed like he was a humble guy, never got in trouble, never stirred up the locker room, never succumbed to the “diva-ness” star receivers usually acquire over time and was loyal to his team. Its rare nowadays to see a star other than a quarterback stay with the team he was drafted on. He retired young but it was on his terms and allowed him to go through the rest of his life relatively healthy (from what i know at least)

  15. Well, good for him. Seems like he’s taken care of his money, doesn’t have that burning passion anymore, and has taken enough of a beating on his body. How many of you would go to ur job on Monday if you had $30 mill + in the bank, especially if they job had some danger to it?

  16. purplepride11 says:

    Now the NFC north has a new start reciever


    First, you spelled receiver incorrectly (i before e, except after c), and did you mean to say Star Receiver, not start?

    Citizens of Minnesota, this is your public school tax dollars at work.

  17. FREEDOM!!!

    Calvin is finally free!

    These stupid Lions fans claiming pleasure out of watching greats like Barry and Calvin suffer on a team only known for failure and embarrassment.

    One (1) Playoff win since 1957, Detroit Lions.

  18. Gee, I thought this was over but here I am reading idiotic, begging commentary just like before.

    “Megatron is going to force the Lions to release him so he can sign with my team, blah, blah, blah.” “Please come to the Patriots. Win a ring.” Calvin is just too honest and has too much integrity to do something like that and go someplace like that. Face it, he’ll always be loyal to the Lions.

  19. Yet Stafford seems convinced he’ll now see more conventional coverages….making it easier for him…time will tell…

  20. As a Bears fan, I loved watching Barry Sanders after Walter Payton retired. Those two guys were easily, hands down the two greatest running backs of all time. Calvin is retiring early, but being smart, all this hate and stupidity about wasted talent and “he’s going to the Pats” is ridiculous.
    Don’t ruin or trivialize his legacy.

    Calvin Johnson is a one of the greatest WR of all time.

  21. Hey Stafford, let’s start with this. Try getting yourself in decent physical condition for the first time in your career, spend some extra time working with your receivers in the off season and then during the season at least pretend to give a damn when you start serving up interceptions at critical times during games.

    I dont think that is asking too much especially given the millions of dollars you have already stolen from Detroit.

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