(Reuters) - Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, one of the most prolific wideouts in the game, said on Wednesday he is mulling an early retirement from the National Football League after nine seasons.
The 30-year-old Johnson, whose size, speed and catch radius make him one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL, still has four years left on the seven-year contract he signed with Detroit in 2012.
“Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future,” Johnson said in a statement. “I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.”
Johnson, nicknamed “Megatron,” was selected by Detroit with the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft and was an instant fan favorite who went on to put together a remarkable career.
He owns the NFL’s single-season receiving yards record with 1,964 in 2012 and also has the most consecutive games with at least 100-yards receiving (8) and is tied for the most career games with 200-plus yards receiving (5).
Johnson, who has battled injuries in recent seasons, also holds most of the Lions’ key receiving records and is headed to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl after a campaign in which he had 1,214 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
“We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future,” the Lions said in a statement.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes