Monthly Archives: January 2016

Report: Calvin Johnson told his family, Lions he plans to retire (Shutdown Corner)

What is it about the Detroit Lions and generational players retiring in the middle of their prime? It appears that Calvin Johnson could join Barry Sanders as Lions greats who walked away from football in their very early 30s, according to this report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter . The report says that Johnson told his family and close friends that the 2015 season would be his final one in the NFL, reiterating the message to Lions head coach Jim Caldwell the day after the regular season was over. Caldwell urged Johnson to sleep on his decision in early January, and now four weeks later it appears that Johnson’s career is over at age 30 after nine brilliant NFL season. Although the Lions reportedly have not given up hope on Johnson changing his mind, the report indicates that he feels pretty content in his decision. It evoked memories of Sanders, who suddenly called it quits in the prime of his career at age 31 in 1999. Johnson missed five games over the 2013 and 2014 seasons with knee, finger and ankle injuries. He also sprained his ankle in Week 8 this season, and the injury limited Johnson on the practice field and on game days. But Johnson finished with a Pro Bowl selection and 88 catches, 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns — leading the Lions in yards and TDs and second to Golden Tate in catches. When word got out earlier in January that Johnson was considering retiring , he and the Lions issued a joint statement. Johnson said: “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 added: “We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future.” It appears he has given it enough thought. – – – – – – – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

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Lane Johnson, a rare 2013 draft success, cashes in with huge deal (Shutdown Corner)

The 2013 draft won’t go down as one of the better ones we’ve seen. That’s putting it kindly. First overall pick Eric Fisher has been up and down for the Kansas City Chiefs, at one point in his third season being moved from left tackle to the less important right tackle spot, before getting his left tackle job back. Second pick Luke Joeckel has been terrible at times for the Jacksonville Jaguars at left tackle. Third pick Dion Jordan, a defensive end with the Miami Dolphins, has played just 26 ineffective games, missing plenty due to suspension. He was suspended all of last season. There are some good players from the 2013 draft, like Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson, Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu and Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, among others. But it’s mostly a bust of a draft, especially at the top. But offensive tackle Lane Johnson, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, has worked out pretty well for the Philadelphia Eagles, and they gave him an enormous payday on Friday as a reward. (It’s a big day for the 2013 draft class, because Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce got a $46 million deal Friday .) Johnson was given a five-year, $63 million extension, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 . He will get $35 million guaranteed in that deal. Johnson has been a good player but that’s an enormous deal for a guy who has barely played the valuable left tackle spot, spending most of his first three seasons at right tackle. While the Eagles gave Johnson left tackle money, they still have the great Jason Peters at left tackle so a move for Johnson doesn’t seem imminent. But the Eagles obviously like what Johnson does at either spot. Johnson has bounced back well from a four-game performance-enhancing drugs suspension to start the 2014 season. There aren’t a ton of success stories from the 2013 draft, but Johnson is one of them. At very least, he’s paid like it. – – – – – – – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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