Calvin Johnson becomes latest NFL player to retire early

by | Mar 10, 2016 | Sports

Calvin Johnson lining up on the line of scrimmage

Calvin Johnson lining up on the line of scrimmage. (FLIKR)

Dondre Stewart

After nine seasons, Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson has decided to retire from the NFL at the age of 30.

Johnson was arguably the most dominant receiver of this generation having amassed 11,000 receiving yards in his career.

He joins running back Marshawn Lynch and linebacker Jerod Mayo as players retiring under 31 this year.

Last year, notable players that retired early were linebacker Patrick Willis, quarterback Jake Locker and rookie linebacker Chris Borland.

There has been a growing trend of NFL players retiring from the sport early.

According to ESPN, 48.7 per cent of players 31 or under retired in 2015. That was 19 football players, versus only five in 2011.

Steve Sumarah, head coach of Carleton Raven’s football team told Humber News that finances and the physicality of football are factors why players retire early.

“It’s a collision sport. It’s a very demanding sport and it takes a lot of time to prep and be ready to step on the field,” said Sumarah.

“I think a lot of guys are looking at it from ‘Hey I put my time in and I enjoyed the whole experience but I’m tired.’”

Neil Harris, a Business Adminstration student at Humber, believes players are being pressured to do more in a short amount of time is a reason of an increase in early retirement.

Harris was a star high school running back and safety at St. Roch Catholic Secondary School in Brampton, Ont.

“Due to the severity of how the game is being played now. More faster paced, more players are being injured now in more various ways. Since the concussion situation of what’s been brought to many players, many seminars are saying most of the players are getting long term disabilities and/or injuries due these stuff happening early in their career.” said Harris.

Athletes are aware they are more vulnerable to long term injuries if they keep playing at an older age, compared to players of a younger age who rehabilitate themselves, Harris said.