Calvin Johnson has officially announced his retirement
The Detroit Lions and the entire NFL were shocked when wide receiver Calvin Johnson abruptly announced his retirement. After reportedly thinking things over and with the start of the new NFL season, Johnson has officially confirmed his retirement and so have the Lions.
"Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who for the past nine seasons established himself as one of the greatest wide receivers in National Football League history, today announced his retirement from the NFL effective immediately.Johnson also filed his retirement papers with the NFL today in advance of the new League year which begins at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 9."
In a statement released on the Lions’ website, Johnson apologized for not making the announcement in person but indicated that isn’t his style.
“Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision,” Johnson said. “As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it.
“I also want you to know that I have the utmost respect and admiration for the game of football. It has provided so much for me and my family and I will be forever grateful to the game.
Johnson also had a special message for Lions fans.
“And finally, to the fans of Detroit and Michigan. I so appreciated your passionate support over the years and truly enjoyed playing for you. I loved playing in Detroit and will forever be a Lion,” Johnson said. “My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to help give our fans a championship. But I do believe the future of the Lions is bright and with the leadership from people like Rod Wood and Bob Quinn, who I have gotten to know over the past few months, I am confident that our fans will soon be rewarded with the championship you deserve.
“From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for everything.”
Johnson will end his career surprisingly short, much like Sandy Koufax with the Los Angeles Dodgers and running back Barry Sanders. Much like both of them, while his career might have been short, one cannot help but appreciate how excellent their career was. Johnson accomplished a variety of things that most receivers never accomplish despite only playing nine seasons. He went to six Pro Bowls and was a three-time member of the first-team All-Pro team.
Johnson finished his career with 731 receptions for 11,619 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns. That’s an average of 81 receptions, 1,291 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns per season. Even in a passing league, that makes him a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2021.