Lions announce Calvin Johnson's retirement - WNEM TV 5

Lions announce Calvin Johnson's retirement

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Calvin Johnson (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Dave Hogg) Calvin Johnson (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Dave Hogg)
Calvin Johnson collection. (Source: Courtney Johnson) Calvin Johnson collection. (Source: Courtney Johnson)
ALLENDALE, MI (WNEM) -

If you heard a loud cry Tuesday afternoon, it was probably the unison of Lions fans as they learned their beloved Calvin Johnson retired.

The Detroit Lions announced No. 81’s decision shortly after 11 a.m.

"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," Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson, 30, was drafted by the Lions as a wide receiver in 2007. He was the second overall draft pick that year.

He was born in Newnan, Georgia and played college football for Georgia Institute of Technology where he was named All-American in 2005 and 2006.

After the 2015 football season there were talks of Johnson’s retirement, but fans held out hope that Megatron would stay one more season. That hope vanished with the official announcement Tuesday.

"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," Johnson said.

During his time with the Lions he broke several NFL records including most receiving yards in a single-season in 2012, and most consecutive 100-yard games.

Johnson said his biggest regret was not being able to give the fans a championship.

"From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for everything," Johnson said.

The team released a tribute video for Johnson. You can view the video here.

On behalf of my entire family I want to thank Calvin for being not only a great player for the Lions, but for also being the absolute best representative our team, franchise and community could ever ask for. He was the epitome of dignity, class, humility and excellence.

- Lions Owner Martha Ford

I've had the good fortune during my career to coach and be around some of the greatest players to ever play this game. And although I've only been with Calvin for two years, I can tell you that not only is he as good as any player I've ever seen, but I am convinced that God has not put a finer person on this earth than Calvin Johnson.

- Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell

For the past nine seasons I knew Calvin like the rest of the NFL - as one of the most dominant players of his generation. Not only was he a great player, but he also set a standard of professionalism that everyone in the NFL respected and greatly appreciated.

- Lions President Rod Wood

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