And, in the process, he explained why he won't be returning. His answer makes complete sense.
Johnson told ESPN that he enjoys actually being able to watch football on Sundays for the first time in a decade and that he's planning on getting his degree in management from Georgia Tech.
But those aren't the reasons that stuck out. Instead, it's all of the injuries that piled up over the course of his nine-year career.
Would you really return to something that left you this broken and bruised?
"I'm not coming back, man," Johnson told ESPN. "Look, man. I got stuff that's going to hurt for the rest of my life. I got a finger that's literally bone-on-bone. This bad boy, it gets smaller. The more and more I do, it grinds bone-on-bone.
"Literally from last year, I went this year to get another X-ray and this is after I retired, I knew it was messed up but I didn't know to what degree because it was hurt."
"The thing I don't miss is waking up in the morning, hurting, the grind of the game," Johnson said. "I got chronic stuff that everybody has when they're done playing football for any length of time. So the good thing is I'm able to walk. I feel good. I'm able to spend more time with the fam. I'm able to chill. I don't have to go out and run three miles every day in practice, you know what I'm saying. Goodness gracious."
Yeah, that sounds more fun than getting lit up by defensive backs. It also sounds familiar.
Back in July, Johnson revealed that he suffered his "fair share" of concussions during his career, despite the fact that the Lions never listed Johnson on an injury report with a concussion. Johnson also said that NFL trainers hand out painkillers "like candy."
In Johnson's career, he caught 731 passes for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he was stuck on some pretty awful teams. He told ESPN that his only regret is that he never won a Super Bowl.