- Werder’s source said that the question for Johnson is: “Do I want to play football?“
- Werder’s source added: “Calvin is the kind of guy who says, “If I don’t feel I’m into this 100%, then I need to decide if want to be in at all.”
- Rapoport adds that some of the reasons behind Johnson announcing that he’s considering walking away from the game was to “take a step back from speculation over his contract and give himself room to think.“
Lions veteran WR Calvin Johnson released a statement saying that he’s considering the possibility of retiring from the NFL.
“Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future,” Johnson said, per Tim Twentyman. “I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.”
The Lions have also released a statement regarding Johnson, per Twentyman: “We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future.”
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Johnson has mentioned the subject of retirement to at least one former teammate.
“There has been some conversations about it, not asking me how it is,” said one Johnson’s former teammates. “But I think the guy’s beat up. I think he’s been through enough. And I think it’s just his time. He’s made the money, got the records, but whatever. I don’t know for sure if he’s going to do it. I don’t know if he’s going to get that itch to keep going. I really don’t know.”
Beyond that, Birkett has spoken to “several” people who know Johnson and agree that it’s not a far-fetched scenario.
Birkett also mentions that nine NFL season have taken a toll on Johnson, and he has continued to deal with injuries.
There has been a lot of talk that the Lions could potentially move on from Johnson, given that he’s scheduled to earn close to $16 million next season and carry a cap number of $24.008 million.
Johnson, 30, is in the fourth year of his eight-year, $150.5 million contract that included $60 million guaranteed. He stands to make base salaries of $12.5 million (2015), $15.95 million (2016), $16.5 million (2017), $17 million (2018), and $18.25 million (2019).
In 2015, Johnson appeared in all 16 games and recorded 88 receptions for 1,214 yards receiving and nine touchdowns for the Lions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 5 receiver out of 119 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Johnson’s future in the NFL as the news is available.