The decision comes months after rumors first emerged that Johnson had decided retirement was his best option going forward. Johnson quickly addressed those rumors. "I am currently evaluating options for my future," Calvin said in a statement back in January. Later, it would come out that Johnson had revealed to close teammates and friends back in 2015 that his ninth season would be his last.
But head coach Jim Caldwell reportedly told him to sit on the decision and Johnson complied for over two months. However with free agency approaching, the Lions got antsy and allegedly pushed for an answer before free agency opens on Wednesday. The move appears to have worked as Johnson is expected to announce his retirement shortly.
Johnson will finish his NFL career as the Lions' franchise leader in receptions (731), receiving yards (11,619) and receiving touchdowns (83). He also holds the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season (1,964) and has the second-most receiving yards in a single game (329).
Johnson's retirement leaves the Lions desperately short at wide receiver. Outside of Golden Tate, the Lions do not have a receiver under contract with more than 300 career receiving yards. Expect Detroit to target a receiver both in free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft.