Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson reportedly told Lions head coach Jim Caldwell after the team’s final regular season game that the 2015 season would be his last.
Johnson, who was the second overall pick in the 2007 draft and will go down as one of the most dominant receivers of his generation, has made $113.8 million in his career, according to Spotrac.
That Johnson has made so much money already probably makes his decision to retire a little bit easier. However, by deciding to hang up his cleats now, Johnson will not only leave $67.7 million on the table — he has four years left on the contract he signed prior to the 2012 season — he will also have to pay the Lions back $3.2 million in previously paid signing bonus money (per Pro Football Talk).
If $3 million sounds like chump change in the world of professional sports, consider that after taxes Johnson hauled in somewhere between $60-$70 million, thus making the $3.2 million he’ll owe back to the Lions ~5% of his career earnings. The good news for Johnson is that he can probably make that much back pretty quickly in endorsements.