I too thought Calvin Johnson was totally bullshitting with all of this retirement talk this offseason. It made more sense that he just couldn’t bear the thought of another season in a Lions uniform. Inconceivable to come back in a different uniform next year? No, it would’ve been less surprising than the whole Brett Favre saga.
So now, like many fans, I’m pissed off for him. Whenever talent’s wasted it’s usually on the athlete and not the organization. This one’s totally on the Lions for never being able to surround him with anything resembling a team. Matt Stafford wasn’t bad and the defense was one of the better units for a few years, but they only managed two winning seasons (2011, 2014) with arguably the best receiver in NFL history.
The only thing to do now is create a list of the 10 Most Wasted Careers:
2. Calvin Johnson – Owner of 16 NFL records and maybe the biggest juggernaut (he is Megatron after all) in terms of strength, size (6’5”) and speed (4.35 40). The most receiving yards in a single season (1,964), six straight 1,000 yard receiving seasons and holder of virtually all of the Lions’ receiving records was rewarded with two wild-card appearances and an 0-16 season. Retired at 30.
1. Barry Sanders – Perhaps the best NFL running back ever retired under 1,500 yards (aka an average season.. for him) away from becoming the NFL’s leading rusher. He basically admitted that the Lions’ losing eradicated his desire to play. Retired at 30.
So yeah, it turns out you only need the Lions when compiling a list like this. No injury or individual by themselves could ruin a stellar career this swiftly and efficiently.