The minute you saw him on the gridiron, you knew something special was bound to happen. Calvin Johnson was dubbed “Megatron” for more reasons than one. The receiver stood tall at 6-foot-5, weighed 239 pounds and ran a 40-yard dash with a time of 4.35 seconds while possessing amazing body control and catching ability. Johnson opened the door to a new wave of big wide receivers such as Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald who changed the way football was played.
In a short span, he was able to rack up a plethora of accolades, including becoming a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro selectee, as well as setting the new single-season NFL receiving yards record with 1,964 yards in the 2012 season. What’s most impressive is that he accomplished all this before the age of 30.
Just shortly after signing an eight-year, $132 million contract extension, Johnson decided out of nowhere to hang up the cleats. According to ESPN’s The Undefeated, major concerns over his long-term health and life after football were big factors in why he retired at the young age of 30.
Three years removed from the league, Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers to ever touch the football field, and many have wondered what could have been if he’d continued his dominance. His 5,137 receiving yards from 2011 to 2013 are still the most by any player over a three-year stretch in NFL history.