Barry Sanders, one of the NFL's great running backs, shocked Lions fans when he announced his retirement after the 1998 season. After all, he still had a lot more to give. History has a funny way of repeating itself: Calvin Johnson is your latest Lions star to retire early.
Adam Schefter reported that Johnson told his family and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell that he was retiring after the 2015 season. Johnson was still a formidable threat, earning 1,214 receiving yards during Detroit's 7-9 year.
Calvin Johnson told family 2015 would be his final year and delivered same message to Jim Caldwell after season ended, sources told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2016
Important to note: Caldwell told Calvin Johnson not to rush decision, to take time. Out of respect to Caldwell, Johnson agreed to do that.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2016
If Johnson does officially announce his retirement, he leaves as one of the greatest wide receivers of this generation. A consistent threat throughout his career, perhaps Johnson's biggest accomplishment was when he broke the record for most receiving yards in a season (1,964 in 2012). Unfortunately, lingering injuries like his ankle has worn on him. Plus, it doesn't look like Johnson is changing his mind; an ESPN source says he's "pretty content with his decision."