Calvin Johnson: Lions’ losing was factor in retirement decision

A year after retiring, Calvin Johnson has admitted playing for the Detroit Lions was a factor in his decision to walk away from the NFL.

When he retired last year, Johnson cited the beating his body was taking after nine years in the NFL as the reason he left the league. Last week in Italy, Johnson was more candid about the Lions’ fortunes being just as important in his decision.

Source: Johnson repaid $1M of bonus to Lions

The Lions recouped at least $1 million of the $3.2 million signing bonus they could have tried to get back from retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson, a source confirmed to ESPN.


  • Megatron didn’t like Lions’ treatment at end

    Former Lions star Calvin Johnson says he doesn’t think he was treated the way he should have been on the way out. The franchise leader in most receiving categories declined to give specifics.

  • Johnson, who was in Italy to present the game ball for Italian Bowl XXXVII, the American football championship game in the country, was asked by reporters if he ever thought about switching teams.

    “Of course, I thought about it. Just like in basketball, you know, guys, they create these superteams. But it’s not quite like that in football where I had the freedom just to go.

    “I was stuck in my contract with Detroit, and they told me, they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them,” he said. “I didn’t see the chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time, and for the work I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall and not going anywhere.

    “It’s the definition of insanity,” he added, drawing laughter from the media in attendance.

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