Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is a finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame. Johnson’s numbers speak to the matter. The player known as “Megatron” retired with 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns all Detroit Lions franchise records. Johnson was also selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowl’s.
The ups and downs of Detroit Lions football, fans know all to well played into Calvin Johnson retiring after 9 seasons. Former Lions running back and Hall of Fame member Barry Sanders had the same issue with the team.
The Detroit Lions and Johnson had agreed on an eight year contract extension in 2012. Johnson would retire in 2015. That is when the relationship between player and franchise took a turn for the worse.
The Detroit Lions asked Johnson to repay a portion of the signing bonus. “That’s the reason for the rift between the team and I, I had to pay some money back. The reason I don’t have any involvement with them is because of that. You can’t make me pay money back and then still want me to come around. It doesn’t work like that.” Johnson said.
No matter if you agree or disagree with the player or the team, it is an issue. Calvin Johnson spent his entire NFL career in Detroit. No matter how good or bad the Lions were Calvin Johnson’s production never dropped off, part of the reason he is a Hall of Fame finalist.
Barry Sanders and Lions had similar issues after the Lions legend retired after 9 seasons. The Lions asked for money back. Eventually both sides made amends and Sanders now does a lot of public relation work for the Lions.
It would be nice for player, team and fans if the Detroit Lions and Calvin Johnson would make amends once Johnson reaches the Hall of Fame. This should be a priority for Lions owner Shelia For Hamp.