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What's trending in the NFL: Megatron plans on retiring; Cam Newton's recruitment of Michael Oher

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Carter not surprised by Johnson's decision (1:23)

Cris Carter and the rest of the NFL Countdown crew react to Lions WR Calvin Johnson's intention to retire after nine seasons with Carter saying, "Calvin has taken a pounding." (1:23)

Here are the top stories from Sunday:

Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson plans on retiring. ESPN Stats & Information assesses where Megatron ranks among the league's great WRs, while ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein thinks the team could zero-in on free agent Alshon Jeffery as a replacement.

How did Panthers left tackle Michael Oher end up in Carolina? As Elizabeth Merrill writes: "Oher was rehabbing from toe surgery in the offseason when he received a text from Cam Newton. The quarterback has recruited players before, but not this hard. Newton's brother, Cecil Jr., had played on the practice squad in Baltimore, and he was around Oher every day. They became friends. He knew Oher was talented and professional, and was confident he could protect his brother. Cecil told Cam that Oher would be a key acquisition to the team. So Newton texted Oher, and he didn't just say he wanted him. He said he needed him."

Which came first, the chicken-farming dream or the pass-rushing dominance? These are the two loves of Von Miller's life, along with his headline-making headwear, his sports-car collection, his too-many-to-count tattoos and his desire to make people laugh. The free agent-to-be is a free spirit, always lightening the mood inside the Denver Broncos' locker room. In a profession filled with paranoia and tight you-know-whats, Miller is the anti-establishment -- a funny dude with an infectious personality. (More from Rich Cimini)

Mike Martz is upset Terrell Owens leaped over Rams greats for Hall consideration.

Keep pounding: How Sam Mills' words still inspire Super Bowl-bound Panthers (by David Newton)


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From ESPN Stats & Information research: With a win on Sunday, the Panthers would become the fourth team in NFL history to win 18 games in a single season. The 1984 49ers and 1985 Bears won their 18th games in the Super Bowl, while the 2007 Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII after entering the game 18-0.


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