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Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson Discusses Retirement, Legacy

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Back in 2015, Detroit Lions wide receiver, and NFL great, shocked the football world when he announced his decision to retire.

Despite that decision coming nearly 3 years ago, teams have still expressed interest in him over the course of the past few seasons, even at 2017’s trade deadline.

Johnson recently spoke to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett about his retirement, and his lasting legacy.

“I told (my father), I was like, ‘Dad, I don’t think I can do it no more.’ I was like, ‘I don’t think I can keep on coming out there running miles a day.’ He said, he was like, ‘You think you can get one more?’ I thought about it. … I was like, ‘All right, I can do it one more time.’”

Johnson touched on the process of informing his-then head coach, Jim Caldwell, of his decision to call it a career.

“I was so stressed out. I was thinking about that more in the last three games [of the 2015 season] than anything else. I was like, ‘Dang, man. How the hell am I going to tell Coach?’ I asked my dad, asked my sister. And I was like, ‘Maybe I’ll just tell him like right before the last game. I’ll like go to his office on Friday, or tell him like Saturday night before the game.’ And I was like, ‘Dang, (I can’t). That’s just a big ass distraction right before the game.’ It was actually tough to actually say it, to spit the words out. But when I finally told him it was like a burden off my chest like no other. I was like, ‘man, I’m free. I ain’t got to be stressing this (stuff) no more.’”

“It had to surprise [Caldwell], ’cause then he told me to wait around and he got the GM and stuff. But I knew there was going to be a problem once [Wood] talked to me and the first thing out of his mouth was like, ‘Did you earn all your bonus?’ I was like, ‘Oh, s***.’ I knew right then it was going to be a problem. I was like, ‘All right, I see how it’s going to be.’”

Despite the continued interest from NFL teams, Johnson doesn’t think he could still play, even if he wanted to.

“I don’t (think so), man, cause I get up from the bed sometimes in the morning, I’m just like, I shuffle across the ground cause I can’t bend my ankles. That was my problem when I played, just ankle’s always stuck or swelled up, I can’t flex them. If you can’t flex your ankles then you’re just running flat-footed all the time.”

Johnson will surely get his fair share of consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in due time.

“People don’t like that I didn’t play a long time, but hey, it is what it is. I mean, I was the fastest to 10,000 yards, I had the most yards in an actual regulation game. I did some things, but if it’s not enough, it’s not enough. I’m not going to lose sleep over it.”

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

Detroit Lions

Former Lions’ Wide Receiver Charles Rogers Dies at 38

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Charles Rogers

Former Detroit Lions wide receiver and the second overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft Charle Rogers passed away at the age of 38, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Chris Solari.

Rogers entered the NFL following a brilliant career at Michigan State, however injuries derailed what was a promising career, as Rogers played in just 15 games with the Lions over 3 seasons.

Rogers suffered a broken collarbone twice, and later admitted that he became addicted to Vicdin while he was playing with the Lions, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Rogers also had issues with alcohol and marijuana, saying that he smoked marijuana every day while at Michigan State and during his NFL career as well.

Rogers continued to have issues following his NFL career, with issues with the law as well as substance abuse.

Rogers died Monday from liver failure, according to his former Saginaw High coaches (h/t MLive.com).

“I called his mom at the hospital over the weekend and got a chance to talk to Charles,” former Saginaw High football coach Don Durrett said. “He said he was going to the Lord.”

“He had cancer, whether that was related to his liver I don’t know,” former Saginaw High basketball coach and athletic director Marshall Thomas said. “They had given him 30 days to live if he didn’t get a liver transplant.”

Rogers also battled cancer.

 

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Detroit Lions

Seahawks Acquire Quandre Diggs

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Quandre Diggs

The Seattle Seahawks made a move to bolster their defense on Tuesday by acquiring veteran safety Quandre Diggs from the Detroit Lions via trade, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.

Diggs, 26, was a Pro Bowl alternate last year after posting a breakout season for the Lions in which he collected 78 tackles, three interceptions, and eight passes defended.

The Lions will receiver a 2021 seventh round pick and a 2020 fifth round draft pick from the Seahawks as part of the deal for Diggs.

Diggs took to Instagram to thank his former Lions’ teammates, many of whom took to social media to express their shock, and his excitement to join the Seahawks saying “Seattle let’s get it!! Ready to get to work and win more games!! Too hyped!!”

Detroit will now turn to to rookie Will Harris at safety to replace Diggs, alongside Tracy Walker.

Diggs was popular with both players and with fans, and this trade marks the second straight year that the Lions have traded a popular player. Last year, they dealt wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third round pick.

Tate now plays for the New York Giants, who take on the Lions this Sunday.

 

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Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson, Rob Sims Partner with Harvard in Marajuana/CTE Research

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Calvin Johnson

Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and his business partner, former NFL lineman Rob Sims, have partnered with Harvard University to research the benefits of medical marijuana in the areas of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and pain management, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.

Johnson and Sims, who own the cannabis company Primitive, announced the partnership that includes a sizeable donation of six-figures with an option for future money, to the International Phytomedicines and Medical Cannabis Institute at Harvard on Tuesday during the Cannabis Capital Conference in Detroit, Michigan.

“We can be in position to develop a treatment for CTE,” Sims said, according to ESPN’s report. “There’s been suggestion that CBD [cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis] and stuff can help cognitive disease, and we think that potentially there could be a treatment going forward that we can produce.”

“As being former athletes, we know there’s some sort of CTE or some sort of damage, 99% I think they say in the study,” Sims said. “So that means I may be walking around with some form of it. It’s really about the hope. Just providing hope, improving the game, making the game safer for former players after they are done.

“Really just being able to help people. I’m a second-generation NFL kid; both my father and father-in-law [played]. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of what it looks like when you’re done playing ball. If we can help this facet of people suffering from CTE or other cognitive disease, that’s the real goal here.”

Harvard will perform medical research for Primitive, which will see them run clinical trials related to CTE and pain management, as well as provide quality assurance from Harvard Medical School for any products the company creates.

“As being former athletes, we know there’s some sort of CTE or some sort of damage, 99% I think they say in the study,” Sims said. “So that means I may be walking around with some form of it. It’s really about the hope. Just providing hope, improving the game, making the game safer for former players after they are done.

“Really just being able to help people. I’m a second-generation NFL kid; both my father and father-in-law [played]. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of what it looks like when you’re done playing ball. If we can help this facet of people suffering from CTE or other cognitive disease, that’s the real goal here.”

“What our mission is going to be is just to improve quality of life,” Sims said. “So, you know, with NESTRE and the brain training and the human optimization, we believe there’s a way to continue to improve your brain function through working out.

“Then, from our position, with that data that we’ll be able to gain, we believe that we can produce plant medicines, or cannabis, using nanotechnology to deliver payloads to areas where people would have symptoms of CTE, like mood and anxiety and memory loss. That’s the goal in the end.”

The group is hopeful that clinical trials can begin during the first quarter of 2020.

 

 

 

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