You hear about great recruiting classes in college, draft classes with enormous potential, but rarely do you hear of a great retirement classes. This you there is the likes of Marshawn Lynch and Peyton Manning. Now we have another one.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is adding his name to the star players hanging up their cleats. On Tuesday, the Lions announced Johnson filed his retirement papers with the NFL before the start of the new league year, which starts Wednesday.
Johnson, 30, is a native of Newnan, Georgia. He played his high school ball at Tyrone Sandy Creek High School. His next stop was Georgia Tech. While there, he was a two-time All-American. His had 178 receptions leading to 2, 927 yards and 28 touchdowns. Johnson ranks first in school history in career receiving yards, second in receptions, first in touchdown receptions, and first in career 100-yard receiving games with 13. During his junior season, in 2006, he was awarded the Biletnikoff Award for the best wide receiver in college football and also won ACC Player of the Year.
In the 2007 draft Johnson was picked second overall by the Detroit Lions. While with the Lions he racked up a few achievements…
- 6× Pro Bowl
- 3× First-team All-Pro
- Second-team All-Pro
- 2× NFL receiving yards leader
- 3x NFC Receiving yards leader
- 2× NFC receiving touchdowns leader
- 10,000 Receiving Yards Club
- NFL single-season record for most receiving yards (1,964)
- Second most all time receiving yards in a game (329)
- One of two players in NFL history with 5,000+ receiving yards in a 3-year period
- Pro football record for most career games with 200+ receiving yards
- Detroit Lions all-time career leader in receiving yards and touchdowns
- Fastest receiver to reach 10,000 receiving yards
He announced his retirement with the following statement.
“Let me begin by apologizing for making this announcement via a statement and not in person. While I truly respect the significance of this, those who know me best will understand and not be surprised that I choose not to have a press conference for this announcement.
After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football. I have played my last game of football.
Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision. As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it.
I also want you to know that I have the utmost respect and admiration for the game of football. It has provided so much for me and my family and I will be forever grateful to the game.
With the reality of my decision, I realize there are a lot of people I would like to thank. I must start with my family — thank you for all your love and support.
I also want to especially thank Mrs. Ford and the Ford Family for all their support over the years. They are tremendous owners and I loved playing for them. I would also like to recognize Mr. Ford, who I was honored to know and play for before he passed away.
While it would be hard to name them all, I would also like to thank all of my teammates past and present.
I also want to thank all of my coaches who I played for, in particular Coach Caldwell for his support, wisdom and guidance over the past two seasons. I loved playing for Coach Caldwell.
There are so many other people I would like to recognize and thank for what they have done for me throughout my career, but rather than risk forgetting someone, I will simply say “thanks” to everyone.
And finally, to the fans of Detroit and Michigan. I so appreciated your passionate support over the years and truly enjoyed playing for you. I loved playing in Detroit and will forever be a Lion. My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to help give our fans a championship. But I do believe the future of the Lions is bright and with the leadership from people like Rod Wood and Bob Quinn, who I have gotten to know over the past few months, I am confident that our fans will soon be rewarded with the championship you deserve.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for everything.”
We wish him the best of luck in retirement!