MARCH 2: The Lions have officially placed Mathis on the reserve/retired list, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).
FEBRUARY 16: Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is reportedly leaning toward retirement, and the team will also see a veteran starter on the other side of the ball call it a career. Detroit cornerback Rashean Mathis told Tori Petry of DetroitLions.com (video link) that he has decided to “hang up the cleats,” and his agent has since congratulated him on his NFL career (Twitter link).
[RELATED: Calvin Johnson likely to retire]
“I’ve been teetering on the fence the last few years,” Mathis said. “I wanted to finish healthy. I wanted to finish on a good note. It was a little sour, my last year in Jacksonville [since] I was coming off an ACL injury, and I think my last three years in Detroit have been amazing…. Being with [Jim] Caldwell for the last two years, I couldn’t ask for anything more to go off on a happy ending.”
Mathis, 35, entered the NFL in 2003 as the 39th overall pick out of Bethune-Cookman. The cornerback spent the first decade of his career with the Jaguars, earning his lone Pro Bowl nod and All-Pro spot in 2006 when he recorded a career-high eight interceptions and 21 passes defended.
Over the course of his 13-year career, Mathis appeared in a total of 175 regular-season games – including 137 for Jacksonville – and totaled 32 interceptions. Although Mathis’ final season with Detroit was cut short by concussion issues, he played a key role on the 2014 squad that earned a playoff berth.
Mathis’ contract with the Lions had featured a $500K roster bonus due to be paid in March, as well as a $1MM base salary for 2016. The team will no longer be on the hook for that money, but will still carry a $375K cap charge on its books for the veteran defensive back this year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.