When Calvin Johnson announced his retirement earlier this offseason, he kept his reasoning a secret. But now he's decided to open up about why he walked away from the game.
At his annual football camp Saturday, Johnson dispelled rumors that he called it quits because he was frustrated with the Lions' lack of competitiveness. Instead, Johnson, 30, simply said he was tired of the daily grind of playing in the NFL.
"I wouldn’t just quit because we were losing." Johnson said. "It was just body. I was just tired of it, fed up. Just had enough."
Johnson, who also reaffirmed his decision to no longer play, is the latest NFL star to retire early. Former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo hung up their cleats this spring, as well. Though Johnson didn't explicitly cite head injuries as a factor in his decision, his recent comments indicate the physical toll of playing football became too much to bear.
Though the rewards of being a part of the NFL outweighs the risks to many players, it's clear a significant percentage are now at least considering the game's repercussions. If a veteran the caliber of Johnson can decide to retire with $67.7 million remaining on his deal, it's fair to expect that another superstar will soon follow in his footsteps.
MANZIEL NEEDS HELP: "I don't know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help." Johnny Manziel's father told ESPN over the weekend he thinks his son is a drug addict and he thinks jail is "the best place for him." If Manziel is convicted of hitting his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley, who alleged that Manziel struck her left ear and threatened to kill her in a fit of rage in January, he could spend up to one year behind bars.
TARVARIS JACKSON CHARGED: Tarvaris Jackson charged with threatening to kill his wife while intoxicated. Former Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was arrested early Friday for allegedly pointing a loaded gun at his wife and threatening to kill her. The couple's children were in the home, according to the police report.
Jackson's wife allegedly told him, "You better be accurate [with the gun] because you ain't accurate on the field."
Jackson was released later that day on bail. The Seahawks likely won't re-sign Jackson, who was Russell Wilson's backup for the past three seasons.
WHAT CAN'T LEBRON DO? LeBron James would be a damn good running back. Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan is already on record saying he thinks James could play tight end in the NFL. But running back might be another possibility.
ESPN Sports Science looked at James' Game 7 block on Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala, and determined he ran faster on the play than Jamaal Charles. James is 50 pounds heavier than the All-Pro running back, by the way.
DEFLATEGATE BACK? Decision day for Tom Brady is looming. When Brady appealed the reinstatement of his four-game DeflateGate suspension, many legal experts protected it would take the federal appeals court between three and six weeks to issue a verdict. This is the five-week mark.
If Brady's request for an en banc rehearing is denied -- which is expected considering only eight cases out of 27,856 completed appeals were reheard en banc in the Second Circuit from 2000-2010 -- he could appeal to the Supreme Court. That would be an appropriate end to this cartoonish saga.
Watch: What every Pats fan is thinking about Tom Brady
HGH-GATE BACK? The NFL hasn't forgotten about the Al Jazeera PED investigation. Please don't let it turn into DeflateGate 2: Electric Boogaloo. The league plans to interview all of the players named in the report, but James Harrison says he will refuse to be interviewed unless Roger Goodell shows up at his house.
HOW MANY TEAMS?! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers apparently beat out 17 other teams for Brent Grimes' services this offseason, at least, according to his wife, Miko Grimes. She also suggested that the Dolphins matched Tampa Bay's offer for the cornerback but that she did not want her husband to return to Miami. Not surprising given her history of Twitter rants centered around the Dolphins.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE: Will Fuller signed his rookie contract with the Houston Texans, and the list of unsigned first-round picks has been narrowed to just three: Joey Bosa (Chargers, No. 3), Darron Lee (Jets, No. 20) and Joshua Garnett (49ers, No. 28). Offsetting language is likely the issue for all three, as it's one of the few things agents and teams have to haggle over with the new rookie wage scale.