Calvin Johnson says his lack of confidence in the Lions' chances of winning a Super Bowl factored into his retirement decision.
The Detroit Lions shocked many by reaching the playoffs in their first year without Calvin Johnson, but the six-time Pro Bowler says he "didn't see the chance for them to win the Super Bowl" after the 2015 season, and that was a factor behind his decision to retire.
Johnson was speaking with reporters in Italy while he was there helping out with Italian Bowl XXXVII, and admitted that playing for the Lions played a role in him deciding to walk away from the NFL after nine seasons. When asked if he ever thought about joining up with other star players before retiring, Johnson explained how he didn't have the opportunity to create a "superteam" like players in the NBA have been able to do.
"I was stuck in my contract with Detroit and they told me they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back with them," Johnson said. "I didn't see the chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time and for the work I was putting in, it wasn't worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall and not going anywhere. It's the definition of insanity."
Johnson added that the toll his body had taken over his career also helped with his decision to retire. The Lions career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns also mentioned that he considers Detroit his home, and he still lives there.
But, he also laughed at the fact the Lions have never reached the Super Bowl.
"At some point, they got to make it," he said. "I don't know when."