Calvin Johnson hasn’t played football since 2015, but people still keep asking him why he retired. Last week in Italy he finally admitted it was because playing for the Lions was an exercise in futility and he felt he had no shot at a Super Bowl. Just like everyone suspected. Via ESPN:
“I was stuck in my contract with Detroit, and they told me, they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them. I didn’t see the 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.
Amazingly enough, the Lions actually made the playoffs last season with a 9-7 record. Though they fell short of the bizarro-world creating Super Bowl, it was the franchise’s third playoff appearance this century. It also lent some credibility to Lions GM Bob Quinn saying Detroit was an attractive place to go for free agents.
Still, Johnson made the right call. It sucks for fans, but it’s the right thing for him in the long run.