Calvin Johnson admits Lions’ losing was factor in retirement decision
Calvin Johnson was always one of the NFL’s quieter superstars, but having been retired for over a year, the former wide receiver is opening up on his decision.
Johnson, visiting Italy for Italian Bowl XXXVII last week, told media that the Detroit Lions’ lack of Super Bowl contention was a factor in his decision to retire at age 30.
“I mean, I thought about [changing teams],” Johnson said, via the Detroit News. “Just like in basketball, you know, guys, they create these superteams. But it’s not quite like that in football where I had the freedom just to go.
“I was stuck in my contract with Detroit, and they told me, they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them. I didn’t see the 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. It’s the definition of insanity.”
When asked to clarify if that was why he retired, Johnson confirmed it.
“Yep, and the body,” Johnson said. “That’s everybody’s goal, when they come to the league, is to win a Super Bowl. That’s the ultimate goal. … I wanted to win it, and like I said, I just didn’t see that opportunity (with the Lions).”
Johnson had always cited wear and tear on his body as the primary reason he retired, but he had alluded to Detroit’s losing in the past as an underlying reason. It sounds like it was a bigger one than he let on.