Calvin Johnson has not taken to an NFL field since he retired following the 2015 season. Now a fixture at practices this summer, the former Detroit Lions receiver is reportedly drawing interest from teams around the league.
“According to a number of NFL sources, at least a half-dozen teams have reached out to retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson to gauge whether he would consider returning to the field, but Johnson has said no. Still, the attempts to convince Johnson to make a comeback have been fairly fierce,” Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reported on Thursday.
The key point here is that Johnson has remained steadfast in his decision to remain retired. Sure he was seen at Oakland Raiders camp earlier this summer, but that was just to take in the scenery (more on that here).
Johnson, 31, has recently spoke out about the use of painkillers in the NFL. And in reality, his decision to step away from the game had as much to do with his long-term health as it had to do with the future Hall of Fame receiver’s issues with his former Lions team.
It’s definitely not a surprise that multiple teams are interested in bringing Johnson out of retirement. Back in 2015 — his final season with the Lions — Johnson recorded 88 receptions for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s still relatively young in the grand scheme of things and would bring a lot of veteran ability to a contending team.
Though, short of a team like Oakland or New England being able to talk him out of retirement, it seems unrealistic to believe Johnson will return to the gridiron.