Megatron: Lions' struggles made retiring easier

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson recently sat down with ESPN to discuss his decision to retire, and he’ll provide some explanation in the “E:60” interview on Thursday at 10 p.m.

The interview was Johnson’s first tell-all with a national outlet as he’s been mostly quiet since officially announcing his retirement in March.

ESPN released a brief preview of Johnson’s interview with Michael Smith on Wednesday, leading with one detail that has been highly speculated.

“If we would’ve been a contender, it would’ve been harder to let go,” he said in the video.

In nine seasons with the Lions, Johnson played in just two postseason games and the team lost both times. The Lions started 1-7 in 2015, Johnson’s final season, and even though the team rallied in the second half to finish 7-9, the early-season hole was devastating.

The only other tease in the video is of a question asking Johnson, 30, whether he retired because he doesn’t want to play football or because he can’t.

“I’ve got a lot of miles on my legs,” he said. “I got a lot of other things I want to do.”

The clip then shows Johnson fishing, something he’ll have plenty of time to do now.