UPDATE: Former Georgia Tech WR, Calvin Johnson retires - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Former Georgia Tech WR, Calvin Johnson retires

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From: NBC Montana From: NBC Montana

Former Georgia Tech and Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson has retired from the NFL. Johnson released this statement on the Detroit Lions website

“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. 

“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. 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.

“With the reality of my decision, I realize there are a lot of people I would like to thank. I must start with my family – thank you for all your love and support.

“I also want to especially thank Mrs. Ford and the Ford Family for all their support over the years. They are tremendous owners and I loved playing for them. I would also like to recognize Mr. Ford, who I was honored to know and play for before he passed away.

“While it would be hard to name them all, I would also like to thank all of my teammates past and present.

“I also want to thank all of my coaches who I played for, in particular Coach Caldwell for his support, wisdom and guidance over the past two seasons. I loved playing for Coach Caldwell. 

“There are so many other people I would like to recognize and thank for what they have done for me throughout my career, but rather than risk forgetting someone, I will simply say “thanks” to everyone.

“And finally, to the fans of Detroit and Michigan. I so appreciated your passionate support over the years and truly enjoyed playing for you. I loved playing in Detroit and will forever be a Lion. My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to help give our fans a championship. But I do believe the future of the Lions is bright and with the leadership from people like Rod Wood and Bob Quinn, who I have gotten to know over the past few months, I am confident that our fans will soon be rewarded with the championship you deserve. 

“From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for everything.”

Calvin Johnson played 9 seasons in the NFL, all with the Detroit Lions. 

PREVIOUS STORY: At a time when many think Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is thinking about whether to retire, ESPN reports that the thinking stage ended months ago.

According to ESPN, Johnson previously told his family and a close circles of friend that 2015 would be his final season of football. The day after the season ended, Johnson reportedly told coach Jim Caldwell the same thing.

Per the report, Caldwell told Johnson not to rush his decision, and to take some time with it. Johnson agreed to do that.

If Johnson indeed retires, he’ll owe the Lions $3.2 million in previously paid signing bonus money. (And if anyone thinks the Lions won’t recover that money, they should ask Barry Sanders for his opinion on that specific dynamic.)

If Johnson waits until the start of free agency, the Lions will have to account for his $24 million cap number, which means that the Lions possibly would cut him. Not only would that absolve him of any repayment obligation, but it also would allow him to continue his career with a team other than the Lions, if he so desires.

The Lions may want Johnson to continue playing, but not at that cap number, or at a salary of nearly $16 million. He isn’t the guy he used to be, in large part due to the pounding he has taken. Still, if Johnson is truly finished, he needs to use that looming cap number as leverage to keep the $3.2 million.

Visit the original story at www.NBCSports.com

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