Ever since A.J. Green came into the NFL, Calvin Johnson has been a great friend and mentor to the Cincinnati Bengals’ star receiver.
Green and Johnson have a Georgia connection (Johnson is from there, Green went to college there) and have been friends for a while. Green grew up watching Johnson play at Georgia Tech before the latter entered the NFL in 2007. Green wasn’t far behind as he played at Georgia before turning pro in 2011.
Johnson spoke about Green during a recent press conference while serving as a guest of the Italian Bowl. When asked who his favorite current receivers were, Johnson made sure to mention Green first among the NFL’s best.
“Favorite wide receiver...oh that’s tough” said Johnson. “I have a friend in A.J. Green, who’s with the Cincinnati Bengals. And I like Antonio Brown, but it’s hard to pass on Julio Jones. He’s a beast.”
Johnson also made an interesting revelation about his former team, the Detroit Lions. Back in 2016, Johnson made the shocking decision to retire after just nine seasons in the NFL. Turns out, Johnson was looking to get out of Detroit, but when the Lions wouldn’t budge, Johnson pulled the ole Carson Palmer on them and retired. Except unlike Palmer, he actually retired.
“I don’t have the freedom just to go,” said Johnson. “I was stuck in my contract with Detroit, and they told me they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them, so I didn’t see a chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time and for the work that I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep beating my head against the wall and not going anywhere. It’s the definition of insanity.”
You can watch the full interview below (the Green discussion comes at the 4:45 mark).