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Calvin Johnson planning to retire in prime

By: Kyera Stinson

Calvin Johnson has reportedly told the Lions he plans to retire after his ninth season in the NFL.

Calvin Johnson has reportedly told the Lions he plans to retire after his ninth season in the NFL.

Boy do the Detroit Lions know what misery is; and once again it appears that they will see a star and face of their franchise retire way too soon. Like when Barry Sanders announced his retirement at 31-years-old after an incredible 10-year career, Calvin Johnson might be following suit. There was even talk of it before the season was over but many reports from around the league and a variety of outlets that closely follow the Detroit Lions are saying that the 30-year-old Johnson is seriously considering retirement after nine years.

Ever since he was the second overall pick in 2007 he has been an elite wide receiver, arguably the best in the league since he joined the league. After nine seasons he has caught 721 passes for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. He’s been named to four All-Pro teams, led the NFL in receiving yards twice, including his 2012 season in which he set an NFL single-season record with 1,964 yards.

Johnson has given everything he has to to game and has exhausted so much in the Motor City that it seems to have caught up to him. He constantly had to battled double-teams; he laid out to catch every ball, and he took a ton of devastating hits while doing it. His body just seems worn down and he seems tired. It is easy to think he could back to play quite a few years, he’s exhausted himself playing the game the absolute best he could.

Johnson has a ton of records, but the constantly losing may have talent a mental toll as well. He may have all of the great records but he has only been to the playoffs twice but has no wins to show for it and was a part of the infamous 0-16 team in 2008. That lack of success was something that worse Sanders down too. He went strong for 10 years and the Lions has nothing to show for it. Sanders choose to retire in good healthy rather than continue on to chase a championship that just was not coming.

If the Lions were this great winning organization, you could probably bet Johnson would stick around for a few more years, but coming off a 7-9 seasons, there might not be a more logical time for him to call it a career if he feels both physically and mentally worn down.

And if he does in fact retire, what is his legacy?

“Megatron” will forever be compared to Hall of Fame receivers like Randy Moss and Jerry Rice, but those guys had yellow jacket quarterbacks to help them. Johnson never had that privilege but still broke records and still dominated. At his best, nobody was even close to him. At his worst, he was still a top five receiver in the league.

Off the field, he has always been praised for his character. He has stood as a huge role model for those who follow him. He might be known for his spectacular plays but his passion is unchallenged, his power speaks volumes and he is one of the most humble players in the league. He’s been a pillar in his community, urging young kids to find a means of survival out of life’s struggles.

Lions fans would be crushed if they lose another all-time great before his career should have been over, but no one can blame him for wanting to pass up another nagging injury, which plagued him this past year, or another team rebuild with a dim light on the other side of the tunnel.

Should Johnson retire early, it would make sense for both sides. Megatron would be able to leave off healthy in a good frame of mind and rack up any endorsement deals that may possibly come his way. The Lions on the other hand will have plenty of cap space to work with and can re-build with no real restrictions.

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Kyera Stinson

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