Calvin Johnson admits decision to retire was partly due to Lions losing

Ex-Lions star opens up about retirement

DETROIT – Calvin Johnson is opening up about his decision to retire last year.

The former Detroit Lions star took some questions from Italian media this week, while in Italy for the Italian Bowl XXXVII.

Johnson made a few comments that clearly state playing in Detroit long term wasn't a great plan for him.

“If I was to keep playing, I would have to play in Detroit, and that just wasn’t for me anymore," Johnson said.

Johnson was asked if he ever considered changing teams.

“I thought about it,” Johnson said. “I was stuck in my contract in Detroit, and they told me they would not release my contract so I would have to come back to them.”

Johnson then admitted that the Lions Super Bowl chances factored into his decision.

“I didn’t see a 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.”

Johnson retired in 2015, and is the all-time Lions leader in receiving. 

Check out the full press conference below.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.