Today, Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions issued a statement in which Johnson says he is "currently evaluating options for my future."

The statement suggests that retirement could be on the way for Johnson.

After nine record-setting years in the NFL, Johnson is entitled to take his career in whatever direction he'd like, but I'm here to plead for one more season.

Retirement seems to be the suggestion, but it might not be the only option here. Johnson could end up on another team due to salary cap reasons, but there's no one in Detroit that doesn't want to find a way for Johnson to return to the Lions.

The Detroit Lions have recently been cursed with a long string of disappointing results from wide receivers they've selected in the NFL draft. It would take another decade of disappointing drafts to balance out the goldmine that was struck when the Lions selected Calvin Johnson with the second pick of the 2007 draft.

Johnson has destroyed records and defenses since he entered the league. Here's a small sample of his NFL records.

  • Single Season Receiving Yards - 1,964 (2012)
  • Fastest to 10,000 Career Receiving Yards (115 Games)
  • Most Consecutive Games With at Least 100 Receiving Yards (8)
  • Most Receiving Yards in a Four Quarter Game (329)

Johnson is a future Hall of Famer. His play sets him apart, but even better than that is the way he plays. In a league of egos and look-at-me touchdown celebrations, Johnson has always played hard and played with class. He's never made the game about himself, while players with less skill continue to do so across the NFL.

Johnson has also been a Detroit Lion his whole career. That comes with its own baggage as any fan will tell you. Johnson has been through some of the toughest parts of Lions history.

Johnson's second season in the NFL was the Lions' infamous 0-16 year. The Lions are only team in NFL history to complete such a perfectly horrible season. Johnson played through it with 78 catches for 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns. He did everything he could.

Then there was Calvin Johnson's catch in Chicago in 2011, the catch which wasn't one, which led to Johnson having a rule unofficially named after him. The "Calvin Johnson Rule" was the beginning of the end of the average NFL fan having any idea of what is and isn't a catch.

It would be easy to go on, but stopping seems like the merciful thing to do.

Johnson has been through tough times as a Lion. He has played through injuries too. It all takes its toll, but Johnson didn't let it show on the field. This year, he started every game and caught the ball 88 times for 1,214 yards and 9 touchdowns.

It would seem fitting for Johnson to quietly retire without much fanfare. It's the way he played the game. But it would also be disappointing.

A player like Johnson deserves more recognition on his way out. He would never come back for the recognition, but it's something fans not only in Detroit, but across the country would love to see.

How about just one more year, Calvin?

Another 10+ Stafford-to-Johnson jump balls for touchdowns, another 1,000+ yard season and maybe, just maybe, a playoff win or two or more.

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