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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