Sources: Keyshawn Johnson to retire

Sources: Keyshawn Johnson to retire

Sources: Keyshawn Johnson to retire
May 23, 2007

Keyshawn Johnson will announce his retirement Wednesday, ending an NFL career in which the outspoken receiver was once one of the game's biggest threats.

He will join ESPN as a sportscaster and disclose his plans at a news conference in Los Angeles at USC, where he starred in college, two people familiar with Johnson's decision told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the Johnson had yet to make the announcement.

ESPN.com first reported his retirement.

Last month, Johnson worked the NFL draft for ESPN, which was impressed enough to offer him a job. He was released by the Carolina Panthers days after the draft.

The receiver told the AP by phone that there would be a news conference at the USC campus. He would not say what he would announce, and laughed when told there was speculation he would be going directly from the playing field to the TV booth.

``Out of respect for the announcement I plan to make, I just want to wait until the press conference for everyone to find out,'' Johnson said. ``If there's a lot of rumors and stuff out there, that's fun.''

Johnson, who turns 35 in July, spent 11 years in the league. He visited the Tennessee Titans on Friday and met with coaches and watched film.

But the Titans had not made a formal offer, and team officials had been talking with Johnson about the range and money that would be involved in any deal.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who became friends with Johnson while he played at USC and Johnson was a ball boy, said Monday he thought Johnson's numbers and production spoke for themselves.

``He still played at a high-level last year. He takes very good care of himself,'' Fisher said. ``He hasn't had any injuries per se. Anytime you get a chance to bring an experienced veteran in to add to your roster then it's a good thing.''

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