Calvin Johnson had apparently been long considering retirement, apparently telling his teammate Corey Fuller about his plans early in the season, according to MLive.com. But Fuller thought Johnson was joking.
“Every time he mentioned it to me, I kind of took it as a joke,” Fuller said Thursday night. “Like, ‘Yeah, whatever. No you’re not.’ It wasn’t until close the end of the season, when he said it — he said it like two or three times — like, ‘Are you for real?’
“Then after the season, when it came out, it was for real.”
Corey Fuller said Calvin Johnson talked about retiring throughout the 2015 season. Fuller thought he was joking until late in the year.
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) April 7, 2016
Johnson’s retirement was a surprise to many. He was still a top-10 wideout in the game last year, and is just 30 years old. He had reportedly told coach Jim Caldwell his intentions, but Caldwell convinced him to take more time to think things over.
He did, but Johnson stuck with the choice he had been harboring for months, and retired.
“It still hasn’t hit me all the way yet,” Fuller said. “I’m definitely going to miss him. Miss the jokes. Miss his presence.”
Fuller was a sixth round pick by the Lions in 2013. In 2015, he played in 12 games for the team, recording four receptions for 76 yards.