The star wide receiver known as Megatron announced his retirement Tuesday morning through a statement released by the Lions. He also filed his retirement papers with the league.
"After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football. I have played my last game of football," Johnson stated.
"Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision. As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it."
Johnson, 30, announced in January that he was going to take some time before deciding on whether to play a 10th season. He will now be forever linked with another Lions great, running back Barry Sanders, who retired before the 1999 season just after his 31st birthday.
Drafted second overall by Detroit in 2007, Johnson had more than 1,000 yards receiving in seven of his nine seasons. He set a league record with 1,964 yards receiving during the 2012 season.
Johnson finishes with 731 receptions, 11,619 yards receiving and 83 touchdown catches, all franchise records. He caught a pass in every game he played for the Lions (135, also a team record).
Like Sanders, Johnson is leaving the game while still a valued player. Last season, Johnson caught 88 passes for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns.
Also like Sanders, Johnson was unable to bring Detroit a championship. The Lions made the playoffs only twice during the Megatron era and lost their first game both times.
"To the fans of Detroit and Michigan, I so appreciated your passionate support over the years and truly enjoyed playing for you," Johnson stated. "I loved playing in Detroit and will forever be a Lion. My biggest regret is that I wasn't able to help give our fans a championship."
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