Calvin Johnson was a beast on the gridiron for the Detroit Lions for nearly a decade, but now the longtime fan favorite is coming clean with his feelings on his former employer, and they aren’t all hugs and kisses. Johnson, who will easily go down as one of the greatest wideouts in the Lions’ franchise history, doesn’t feel too much love for his former employers at the moment.
Pro Football Talk is reporting that Johnson, who retired a year ago at the age of 30, said that he is not thinking about things like having his number retired or having a Calvin Johnson Day at Ford Field. In fact, Johnson isn’t thinking much about the Detroit Lions at all these days. To put it mildly, Johnson doesn’t have many nice things to say at all about the Lions organization as a whole.
“I don’t even like to talk Lions too much just because the way our relationship ended,” Johnson told the Detroit Free Press.
“If they see me around here, we’ll see. But hey, I don’t know. I just didn’t feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out. That’s all. I mean, it’s all good. I’m not tripping. I don’t feel any kind of way, just hey, that’s what they did. Hey, it is what is.”
So what could be the reason for all of the bad blood between these two? Johnson may be referring to the Lions’ decision to force the former Georgia Tech star to repay part of his signing bonus when he retired with a year left on his contract. The Lions, or any team in the NFL for that matter, have the right to ask for part of a player’s signing bonus if that player retires early while still under contract.
While players know that is the rule on this topic heading into the NFL, Calvin Johnson still may feel a bit slighted by the entire process – or lack of usual process Detroit showed him when he retired. When a player retires with time left on his contract, teams are allowed to require him to pay back a prorated portion of his signing bonus – however, most teams just waive the right and let the player keep the entire bonus.
For whatever reason, Detroit decided that they wanted the money Johnson owed the organization back.
Johnson, who looked like he was in great shape after retirement, was asked on Saturday if he would ever have the desire to come back to the NFL.
“I don’t really think about it too much because I got so much going on,” Johnson told the Detroit Free Press.
“I came in with Marshawn. We worked out together down in Orlando with Tom Shaw. I’m going to see him next week because I’m going out there to work with Oakland. But I don’t feel any kind of mixed emotions about it now. “It doesn’t make me think about coming back, not at all.”
While Johnson says a comeback is highly unlikely, you never know how he is going to feel once he starts working out with Lynch and the Oakland Raiders next week. At the age of 30, Johnson could still have a lot in the tank, but it seems like he is happy with his life outside of the NFL. Johnson showed his fans that he still is light on his feet by finishing third on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
In his nine full seasons with the Detroit Lions, Johnson caught 731 passes for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. During his playing career, (from 2007-2015) Calvin Johnson was first in first in receiving yards, and touchdown catches.
[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]