Calvin Johnson Admits He Retired Because The Lions Never Had a Shot at Winning A Super Bowl
Just nine seasons into a Hall of Fame career, Calvin Johnson decided to give it all up and retire from the game he loved.
The former Detroit Lions wide receiver recently stated that it was more than just the wear and tear on his body that made him quit—it was the lack of winning in Detroit that helped make his decision so much easier.
Johnson started on the topic by saying that continuing to play in Detroit after the 2015 season “just wasn’t for me anymore,” according to Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit.
He was then asked to elaborate further and whether he ever thought about suiting up for another franchise, to which he responded by saying that the Lions weren’t going to allow him to do so.
“I thought about it,” Johnson said. “I was stuck in my contract in Detroit, and they told me they would not release my contract so I would have to come back to them.”
Two playoff appearances in nine years, combined with a winless season and an overall record of 54-90 weighed heavy on Johnson. Eventually, it became too much to bear.
“I didn’t see a chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time, and for the work I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall and not going anywhere.”
Johnson finished his Lions career as the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (731), receiving yards (11,619), and touchdown catches (83).