DETROIT, March 22 (UPI) -- With two tight ends taller than 6-feet, 5-inches, all the New England Patriots need is a Megatron.
"Congratulations on your retirement, man. Now, take this year off ... then find a way to land with the Patriots and get a championship ring," Burleson wrote for NFL.com. "You deserve it."
Burleson was Johnson's teammate for four seasons in Detroit. However, Johnson is still under contract with the Lions, so if he did return, his rights would remain with the team.
If Johnson decided to cut his retirement short, the Lions would be on the hook for his $15.95 million base salary. That high mark would be a huge cap hit to account for on short notice, possibly leading to a roster cut for the 3-time first-team All-Pro.
"After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football. I have played my last game of football," Johnson said in a statement on DetroitLions.com.
Although Johnson had 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns in a nine-year career, the wide receiver had a 0-2 career record in the playoffs.