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Calvin Johnson to retire a free agent?

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It appears like Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson wants to retire a free agent. It’s been a month since speculation came out that Johnson wanted to retire.

While ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news, the all-pro wide receiver still hasn’t made an official decision. If he does want to retire, he’ll officially have to inform the team by March 9th, the start of the new league year and free agency.

If he leaves the game, he’ll leave it at a high level like Barry Sanders once did. Both would retire at 30-years-old and leaving the Lions with a gaping hole to fill.

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Johnson wants to be a free agent instead of being a Lion. And he speculates that’s why Megatron hasn’t walked away from the game.

As Florio says, if he walks away from the game under contract with the Lions, he’ll still be with their control should he decide to come back. He has four more years left under his current contract.

However, if the Lions releases Johnson, he’ll be free to sign with any team. Also, the Lions wouldn’t ask him to pay back his $3.2 million signing bonus.

If he retires, or they cut him, the Lions will have over $11 million in cap space. However, if he doesn’t retire or get released, the team will have his $15.95 million and $24-plus million on their cap this season.

Johnson is the Lions all-time leading receiver with 731 receptions and 11,619 yards with 83 touchdowns.

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