It looks more and more likely that Calvin Johnson will retire from the Detroit Lions this offseason. That marks the second Detroit Lions great to retire at the age of 30 years old (Hello, Barry Sanders). When the news broke that this wasn’t simply a trick to go to another team or make more money many people couldn’t believe it. Count Jerry Rice as one of the people that was shocked by the news.
According to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, “It’s just unfortunate to see him (walk away) because he’s around, like, 32. I was just coming into my prime at his age.”
Now, on the surface that seems like hyperbole. Most people think that at the age of 30 you’re beginning to slow down and exiting your prime. Now, with most people that’s true, but with Rice it makes sense.
From 1985 to 1992 (Rice turned 30 on October 13th) Rice had 610 receptions for 10,273 yards and 103 TD’s. That alone is close to Hall of Fame worthy. Maybe you need another year or two but it’s still pretty impressive.
For Calvin Johnson, he’s potentially retiring with 731 catches for 11,619 yards and 83 TD’s. He’s right there with Rice.
Then, from 1993 to 2004 Rice had 939 receptions for 12,622 yards and 94 TD’s. Again, THAT, is Hall of Fame consideration worthy and kind of lends validation to what Rice is saying.
“I mean, I think the thing with him is that if he can’t be 100 percent, he doesn’t want to just be on the field,” Rice said. “There’s a lot of money he’s walking away from. He’s walking away from, like, $27 million. But he doesn’t want to be that type of player.”
Johnson played through numerous injuries this year and it looks like he decided to give it all up. This isn’t such a new thing after last year’s mass exodus of the San Francisco 49ers players including Chris Borland and Patrick Willis.
Whether or not Johnson decides to retire after the year he’s had a tremendous career and you should check out some of his best catches on YouTube. Also check out the same things for Jerry Rice. He was pretty good as well.