Former Lions WR Calvin Johnson admitted during an interview with ESPN that it would have been harder for him to retire if the team was contending for a title.
“If we would’ve been a contender, it would’ve been harder to let go,” Johnson said, via Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
A few weeks ago, Johnson told reporters that he is happy in retirement and not planning to return to the NFL at any point.
“I’m not coming back,” Johnson said, via the Detroit Free Press. “You ain’t got to worry about that.”
Johnson explained that the decision to retire was because he was tired and “fed up” with the impact it was having on his body.
“Simply – I wouldn’t just quit because we were losing,” Johnson said. “It was just tired of it, fed up. Just had enough.”
Back in March, Johnson formally announced his retirement from the NFL and the Lions later placed him on the reserve/retired list, which will allow them to control his rights if he attempts to return to the league at some point.
Johnson, 30, is a former first-round pick of the Lions back in 2007. He was in the fourth year of his eight-year, $150.5 million contract that included $60 million guaranteed and set to make base salaries of $15.95 million (2016), $16.5 million (2017), $17 million (2018), and $18.25 million (2019).
In total, Johsnon played nine season for the Lions and totaled 731 receptions for 11,619 yards receiving and 83 touchdowns over the course of 135 games. He was a six-time Pro Bowler and selected to three first-team All-Pro units.