One of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL is walking away from the game.
After nine years in the league, Calvin Johnson announced his retirement Tuesday, leaving the game with every significant Detroit Lions record and 15 NFL records in tow. One of those league records was the most receiving yards in a season with 1,964 in 2012.
Instead of holding a formal press conference, Johnson simply sent an official statement through the Lions on Tuesday.
"Let me begin by apologizing for making this announcement via a statement and not in person. While I truly respect the significance of this, those who know me best will understand and not be surprised that I choose not to have a press conference for this announcement," Johnson said through the Lions' press release, as reported by ESPN. "After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football. I have played my last game of football.
"Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision," he continued. As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it. I also want you to know that I have the utmost respect and admiration for the game of football. It has provided so much for me and my family and I will be forever grateful to the game."
At 6-foot-5, 237 pounds with a 4.35-second 40-yard-dash time at the 2007 NFL Combine, Johnson more than earned his "Megatron" nickname for his freakish skills. Just 30, Johnson walks away as No. 43 all-time in receptions, No. 27 in yards and 22nd in touchdowns in NFL history. His Lions records include most career receptions (731), career receiving yards (11,619) and receiving TDs (83) to name a few.
The last four seasons have been rough on his body, though, as Johnson fought through everything from knee to ankle and finger injuries just to keep going.
For Lions fans, Johnson's retirement at 30 conjures painful memories of phenom and Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders retiring at the age 31 before the 1999 season, never to return to the game.
Hey, at least they got to see two of the best ever play.
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)