There have been rumors of the retirement of Detroit Lion’s receiver Calvin Johnson. The talks of retirement have not yet been confirmed but sources say that Johnson told coach Jim Caldwell the day after the regular season ended that he has plans to retire.
Johnson released a statement saying “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.”
Johnson played in all 16 games this past season and hauled in 88 receptions for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. This was Johnson’s sixth consecutive 1,000 yard season and seventh of his nine seasons.
The Lions drafted Johnson No. 2 overall in the 2007 draft and he had his best season in 2012 where he set an NFL single-season record with 1,1964 yards. He is also the Lions’ all-time franchise leaders in receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619).
If Johnson was to retire would he still be considered a Hall of Fame candidate? I personally think of course, but the real question is can he lock in a first-ballot? I don’t think so.
Reasons being the Hall of Fame vote is not always how you start but how you finish. If Johnson was to retire today his work in the NFL would look to be unfinished to some. He will go down as a receiver with the most touchdown receptions (83) and receiving yards in the NFL without a win in the playoffs. This is a problem in Hall of Fame voting.
A wide receiver has the less control because they need a decent quarterback and a team to work with. It’s not Johnson fault because he has performed but it’s just politics.
If Johnson does indeed retire the Lions will be able to free up a lot of cap space, which is about $11.1 million dollars.