Lost a little bit in the playoffs news has been a surprising little tidbit that Calvin Johnson may very well retire. It’s not final yet, but apparently he told his family and his coach that was the plan. It comes as a surprise for sure, Johnson is only 30 and is still one of the best in the game, even if he’s taken a slight step back in the previous two seasons as he’s suffered a few nagging injuries. Being a Detroit Lion all-pro who may retire in his prime draws the obvious comparison to Barry Sanders who mysteriously did the same thing. If we do lose Calvin, the football world is worse off, and we may never know what he could have accomplished had he continued to play.

I think the timing leaves him at a very strange place career wise. If he had 2-3 more seasons at his usual production, he’s a surfire hall of famer. But as of right now…he’s kind of on the bubble. Only 27th in all time yards, and 21st in all time TDs. He has no rings or even any playoff victories, something that bolsters the cases of similar receivers. At his peak he was simply a monster and one of the best we’ve ever seen, but it didn’t last long and his overall lack of longevity is going to hurt him. On top of that, there is a severe logjam in the Hall for WRs right now, and since he’s not an obvious first ballot choice that may screw him over as well. The Hall has a problem with WRs. As the passing game increases in importance, high numbers are going to become more common, and either the Hall is going to continue having an excessive logjam…or they raise their standards for entry, and Calvin’s early retirement may be his undoing. I’d like to see him make it, but at this point, if he retires, he’s either not going to make it or he’s going to be one of those players who has to wait 10 years untilĀ the committee feels bad about snubbing him.

I don’t know if Calvin will even care. He’s such an admirable, quiet guy. I’d love to see him stay because watching him play when he’s healthy is magical, but if he doesn’t, I wish him well.