Calvin departs without fanfare or press conference

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
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Calvin Johnson leaves Chicago's Soldier Field after the final game of his NFL career, on Jan. 3, 2016.

Former Broncos and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning discussed his playing career during a retirement news conference Monday.

Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, meanwhile, is leaving the NFL quietly.

In his statement provided by the Lions, Johnson said he won’t hold a news conference to discuss his nine seasons in Detroit.

“Let me begin by apologizing for making this announcement via a statement and not in person,” Johnson said in the statement. “While I truly respect the significance of this, those who know me best will understand and not be surprised that I choose not to have a press conference for this announcement.”

Although Johnson was a transcendent superstar, he was relatively quiet during his career, and that’s how he’ll start his post-career life, too. Even when he did his weekly news conference, he typically avoided saying anything controversial, even when a complaint about his role in a game would’ve been appropriate.

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In addition to not hearing from Johnson, the Lions won’t have coaches or executives at a news conference to discuss his many accomplishments or share stories from his career.

“I wish Calvin the very best in all his future endeavors, especially he and Brittney’s upcoming wedding, and I am confident Calvin will be just as successful in the next chapter of his life as he was playing for the Lions,” owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement.

Coach Jim Caldwell, who also coached Manning in Indianapolis, said he has as much respect for Johnson as anyone he knows.

“I’ve had the good fortune during my career to coach and be around some of the greatest players to ever play this game,” Caldwell said in a statement. “And although I’ve only been with Calvin for two years, I can tell you that not only is he as good as any player I’ve ever seen, but I am convinced that God has not put a finer person on this earth than Calvin Johnson.”

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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