One day after quarterback Peyton Manning retired, Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson followed suit on Tuesday, according to the Lions’ website.
Johnson is retiring at the age of 30. He had 731 catches for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns in 134 regular-season games. Each is a Lions franchise record, and came in 134 regular-season games.
According to ESPN, Johnson’s 86.1 receiving yards per game is the most in NFL history among players with 100 games played
Last season, Johnson had 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. Not long after the season ended, rumors circulated that Johnson (whose nickname is Megatron) would quit the game. That came to fruition on Tuesday.
“After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football,” Johnson wrote in a statement. “I have played my last game of football.
“Let me assure you that this was no an easy or hasty decision. 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.”
Johnson also thanked coach Jim Caldwell and the Ford family.
“And, finally, to the fans of Detroit and Michigan, I so appreciated your passionate support over the years and truly enjoyed playing for you,” he wrote. “I loved played in Detroit and will forever be a Lion. My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to help give our fans a championship.”