Calvin Johnson has been the best wide receiver in the NFL for a number of years. As the highest paid in the position group, the receiver earned the nickname Megatron for a reason. 2015 was not his best and at 30, Johnson is beginning to think of the future. With rumors swirling that he could be released from the Lions due to salary cap reasons, Johnson released a statement saying retirement might be the actual outcome.
Johnson released a statement on Wednesday that said he was "evaluating options for my future." He went on to say, "I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future." Johnson hinted that like any player at his age, he is beginning to think how much longer he can play in this league. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Johnson is uncertain if he wants to play anymore as his body is not 100 percent. The receiver dealt with multiple injuries over the past few years while still finishing with 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
Werder reports that frustrations around the Lions' organization are not helping Johnson's decision. The team has struggled while failing to maximize their offense with Johnson. With a $15.95 million salary and $24 million cap hit in 2016, Johnson has faced rumors that he will be released this offseason which have not made the receiver very happy either. All of this could play into what he does in the next few months.
"You never know, man," Johnson said, via ESPN.com. "If it is, though, you want to go out like that, you know, [with] wins. Unfortunately we weren't able to make the playoffs or anything like that, but have a great team effort, not just this game but this whole second half of the season, it was a good one, good deal."
If Johnson were to depart, where does that leave the Lions? The team has Golden Tate locked in, but they lack a true No.1 guy. Lance Moore is now a free agent. They could bring him back, but that is not enough. The NFL Draft could be where the Lions find their next receiving star. The Lions do not draft until No.16. At this moment the best receiver in the bunch is Laquon Treadwell. He would be a star for the Lions, but could be gone by the time they select. That would leave Corey Coleman or Josh Doctson as options.
The free agent market this season is weak at the position. Alshon Jeffery is expected to stay put with the Chicago Bears. Anquan Boldin is available, but he is 35. Percy Harvin could be available, but he is injured. Travis Benjamin could be a solid option along with Rishard Matthews, but neither are No.1 guys. The draft might be Detroit's only option.