The world of sports can be fueled with cruel irony at times. One of the NFL’s most hapless franchises, the Detroit Lions, is one of four teams to have never appear in a Super Bowl. However, the franchise is home to two of the most transcendent skill players of all-time in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson. Sanders, one of the greatest and most electric running backs of all-time, famously walked away from the game after nine seasons relatively healthy and only 1,457 yards shy of beating Walter Payton’s record for the must rushing yards in NFL history.
Today, we learned that Calvin Johnson might be pulling a similar move.
After nine seasons (just like Sanders) the six-time Pro Bowler and all-time leading receiver in Lions history is thinking about hanging up his cleats. “Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future,” “Megatron” said in a statement released through the team. “I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.”
Johnson, who has battled through ankle, finger knee issues in the past few seasons, holds the NFL single-season receiving record at 1,964 yards, a record previously held by Jerry Rice before Johnson broke it in 2012. Johnson also set the NFL records for consecutive 100-yard games (8) and consecutive games with 10 or more receptions (4). He also tied Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s record for most 100-yard games in a season with 11.
“We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future,” the Lions said in a statement.
Johnson, who turns 31 in September, has four years remaining on the seven-year, $113.45 million contract he signed before the 2013 season. He’s scheduled to make nearly $16 million next season and count $24 million on the salary cap. Megatron has accumulated 11,619 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns in his nine-year career.
Sucks to be a Lions fan.
Photo Credit: NFL.