Calvin Johnson shocked many on Wednesday when he released a statement hints at retirement. The 30-year-old receiver has been the best at his position for years now, but with doubt lingering around his future with the Detroit Lions, Johnson sounded more keen on walking away from football altogether stating he needed to evaluate his future.
According to the Detroit Free Press, if Johnson were to commit to playing in the NFL for a few more years, it likely would not be with the Lions. With wide receiver is set to earn $15.95 million next season while being a $24 million salary cap hit. That is something Detroit cannot afford to keep on. ESPN's Ed Werder reported that the rumors of being released have frustrated Johnson and have impacted his decision to continue playing football. While the receiver contemplates where he stands in his career, where could he play should he holdoff on retirement?
There is no confirmation that Johnson is set to retire, so if he were to seek playing another season and the Lions release him, almost every team in the league will aim to acquire the receiver as a free agent. While injuries have impacted his production over the past season, he is still one of the best players available and would be a welcomed presence on the field for a number of quarterbacks.
The Dallas Cowboys are a likely landing spot for Johnson. The Cowboys have never had a true No.2 receiver for Dez Bryant to run with. Terrance Williams is good, but not great. The same can be said for Cole Beasley. Johnson signing with Dallas would give him another talented receiver to take the pressure off his shoulders while also giving him a good quarterback to work with. The trio of Johnson, Bryant and a healthy Tony Romo could be huge for Dallas.
The New England Patriots were certainly take Johnson. Head coach Bill Belichick has shown interest in the receiver before and could again after it is clear the Patriots need depth at the position. Johnson is an upgrade over Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell. He is the ideal star to run with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski while the arm of Tom Brady is an upgrade over Matthew Stafford. This could get Johnson the Super Bowl ring he has been searching for.
The Indianapolis Colts could be a good fit with the arm of Andrew Luck. He would pair well with TY Hilton while replacing Andre Johnson who was a bust this year. The Oakland Raiders could eye him for a receiving trip of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. The Raiders would also have enough salary cap space to give him a solid contract.
It is unclear what Johnson plans on doing. In his released statement the receiver said he would have a decision on his future soon. Right now his body is banged up and holding off on making any rash decisions is wise. If Johnson wants to keep playing football, there will be teams welcoming him with open arms.