He says he was in pain every day. He shuffled across floors because he couldn't bend his ankles. His fingers ached every time he tried to catch a football. That's kind of a problem for a wide receiver. Calvin Johnson's retirement shocked a lot of people in March of 2016. In retrospect, it's no wonder he walked away when he did. And you know what? He says he doesn't miss playing one bit. "I miss my teammates, for sure," the former Lions great says in an essay published by the Players Tribune. "I miss Coach Caldwell. I miss giving fans something to be excited about. I miss the competition. But I can honestly say that I don't miss playing." Johnson retired in 2016 after nine seasons in the NFL. It seemingly came out of nowhere, considering he was still just 30 years old and playing at a high level. But he now says he had been considering walking away for more than a year. The pain just became too much, and he had other things he wanted to do. "For most of my life, I've been identified as a football player," he says. "But I am so many other things. And that list has expanded since leaving the game. I'm a husband and a father, a friend, a coach, a mentor and an entrepreneur. I'm a skier. A surfer (kinda). Hell, I was even a dancer there for a minute. And school is still in the forecast, too. So I'll be a student again soon.
Calvin Johnson: 'I can honestly say that I don't miss playing'
Michigan Live | Jan 2