A midst a busy NFL free agency period is the news that Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is retiring from professional football. Rumors of Johnson's retirement first emerged earlier this offseason. The Lions officially confirmed Johnson's decision on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Johnson is stepping away from the game early.
Johnson was a truly special talent. "Megatron" dominated the game with his incredible combination of size (6-5, 240) and speed (4.35 40-yard dash). Johnson is leaving the NFL ranked 27th in all-time receiving yards and 22nd in all-time receiving touchdowns. He easily could have climbed up even further up those lists if he wanted to continue playing.
The Eagles are probably glad to see Johnson leaving the game. In five games against Philadelphia, he had 23 receptions for 388 yards (16.9) and four touchdowns. Three of those scores came when Johnson repeatedly destroyed rookie cornerback Eric Rowe in Detroit's 45-14 win over the Eagles on Thanksgiving. Rowe was forced into action after Nolan Carroll suffered a broken ankle injury during the game. The good news is that Rowe never struggled that much again.
Another way this news impacts the Eagles is because they're scheduled to play the Lions in Detroit again this season. The Birds (and Rowe) won't have to worry about dealing with Megatron this time around.
Johnson is just one of the few notable NFL players who have retired this offseason. Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch, and Charles Woodson are among the others.