Lions WR Calvin Johnson told coach Jim Caldwell that 2015 was his last season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Sunday. It seems like nine seasons and 135 games in the NFL were enough for Johnson.
The Lions have not given up hope on convincing Johnson to stick around, though ESPN was told that he is "pretty content with his decision" and informed those close to him about his decision before the season began.
Johnson, 30, racked up 731 career receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns in his time with the Lions after he was selected with the second overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft. He leaves the game at No. 27 on the all-time receiving yards list and No. 22 in receiving touchdowns.
If he goes through with it, the unexpected retirement comes when Johnson was scheduled to make $15.95 million in 2016. He is the highest-paid wide receiver ever after signing an eight-year, $150.5 contract extension in 2012 that hasn't been matched since.
Johnson tallied more than 1,000 receiving yards in seven of his nine NFL seasons, including the last six years for the Lions, although the team managed just two winning seasons during his career.
The retirement would echo the sudden departure of Barry Sanders who spent 10 years with the Lions before retiring shortly after his 31st birthday in 1999.
Johnson led the Lions in receiving yards and touchdowns during the 2015 season, although Golden Tate had two more receptions than Johnson. Following the departure of the team's top receiver, it has an instant need at the position, with Lance Moore and third-year tight end Eric Ebron as the only other top receiving threats. The Lions own the No. 16 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft after a 7-9 season.