Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Johnson Retires, Will Try TV

Keyshawn Johnson decided that 11 years was enough in the National Football League.

Johnson declined an offer from the Tennessee Titans and his agent, Jerome Stanley, has said that Keyshawn will hang up his cleats and try his hand in television working for ESPN.

The wide receiver, who also will receive an offer from the Oakland Raiders, is expected to announce his decision at a Wednesday afternoon news conference at his alma mater of USC.

"The timing of it was just right," Stanley said of Johnson's decision. "There were a couple of slots open in broadcasting. He was either going to retire this year or next year, but the timing just turned out to be right now."

Johnson, one of the best possession receivers in NFL history, was cut by the Carolina Panthers this month after the Panthers drafted USC's Dwayne Jarrett in April. He had 70 catches for 815 yards and four touchdowns for Carolina in 2006.

Johnson, the No. 1 pick in the 1996 NFL draft, has started 162 of 167 games in his 11 NFL seasons that spans stints with Carolina, Dallas, Tampa Bay and the New York Jets. He retires with 814 career receptions for 10,571 yards and 64 touchdowns.

The time for him to retire was the right decision, even though he still has some tread left in the tires. An aging possession receiver who never played as a slot receiver, which is where he would end up with most teams, was not something Johnson really wanted to do.

And while not living up to the status expected of a number one pick, Johnson still had a solid and consistent career.

ESPN is expected to announce Keyshawn's hiring immediately after he announces his retirement.

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