Longtime Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson announced he was retiring in March, but the first time teammate Corey Fuller heard him mention the decision, Fuller thought Johnson was joking.
“First time I heard about it was about early in the season,” Fuller said Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It was actually, the way he said it was a joke like, ‘Yeah, it might happen.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, no it’s not. Shut up.’ And then having heard about it then, and then he finally came out after the season and talked about it.”
Fuller said Johnson casually mentioned his thoughts on retirement in the locker room to Fuller and a few other players. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said last month that he did not have any previous notice on Johnson’s decision.
Johnson, 30, retired after spending all of his nine-year career in Detroit. The six-time Pro Bowler led the league in receiving twice, and set the NFL’s single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012. In 135 NFL games, Johnson compiled 11,619 receiving yards and 84 touchdowns.