A large portion of the NFL world – media, fans, analysts – are stunned that Calvin Johnson could retire at the age of 30.
Well, perhaps they shouldn’t be.
“This may become the new normal,” Lions play-by-play voice Dan Miller said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “We know what the research is telling us. We know what’s happening to a lot of these players physically – legs, head, everything – and where they could be later in life. If they can get out at 30 with money and feel good, maybe what happens with a Patrick Willis or what happens with a Calvin Johnson becomes a new normal.”
Johnson missed five games combined in 2013 and 2014 while battling knee, finger and ankle injuries.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2007, Johnson has played nine years in the NFL and is the Lions’ all-time leader in receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619). In 2012, he set the single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards.
Johnson ranks 43rd all-time in receptions, 27th all-time in receiving yards and 22nd in touchdowns (83). Is that enough for the Hall of Fame?
Miller says yes.
“For me, I think ultimately when they sit down in a room to discuss Calvin Johnson, they’re going to say he was the best receiver in the NFL for a prolonged period of time,” Miller said. “For whatever reason, he ultimately (decided), if this is it, (to cut his career short). But for the time that he was there, there’s no denying what he has done, and I think it will ultimately be taken into consideration. I think for me, as a guy who doesn’t vote for the Hall of Fame – but certainly I’ve talked to people that do and have – I think ultimately he gets in. When they sit around and talk, they will take into consideration what he’s done, and when you look at it, it has truly been special. It just won’t be as big or as long a period as we thought that it would be.”