Megatron Mulling Retirement
After nine years in Honolulu blue and silver, one of Detroit's current gridiron heroes is thinking about life on the other side of the football field.
According to Terry Foster at WXYT in Detroit, Calvin Johnson is in a lot of pain and is talking with friends and colleagues about life after the NFL. Johnson notified the team of the possibility after cleaning out his locker on Tuesday.
Johnson has released a statement "“Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future. I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future."
The Lions have also issued a statement, “We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future.”
Foster also had a speculative piece the day before this announcement noting some interesting quirks about Johnson in Chicago at the end of the season including grabbing his TD ball from the game (his 83rd of his career, not exactly a milestone).
Also, when asked by a sideline reporter in Chicago about whether or not he wants to stay in Detroit, Calvin's response: “I love Detroit,” Johnson said. “Let’s leave it at that.”
According to Foster, Johnson figures to lose about $24 million if he retires with the contract he has still in place right now. However his total contract earnings in the NFL have been north of $150 million, so money shouldn't be an issue for him.
This year, Johnson missed numerous practices during the year, though he played in all 16 games registering 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdown grabs. Through his career he has missed only nine games of 144 possible in his time with the Lions.
However, this isn't the first year where he missed a ton of practice time only to show up on Sundays, and it's not because he's lazy or doesn't want to practice and better his craft. He's simply in pain. Johnson has dealt with knee, ankle and finger issues the past few seasons.
He dealt with an ankle injury most of this season that required rest and management by the team throughout the course of the week to get him ready for gameday. He was listed as questionable on seven of the team's final eight injury reports.
If this is Johnson's last season in the NFL, he has carved out a Canton-worthy career. He has amassed 11,619 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns in his nine-year career.
The question Megatron seems to have to answer for himself? Is the grind of being an elite NFL wideout worth the current pain he's in? It appears we will know that answer soon.