Not long ago I wrote that Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions were still at odds over money the Lions asked for back once Calvin Johnson retired and the two parties need to work things out. I believe that will happen soon. Last night Cavin Johnson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Johnson AKA “Megatron” becomes just the seventh wide receiver to be enshrined his first year on the ballot.
Calvin Johnson did not workout for any NFL team before the 2007 NFL draft. He did not need to. It was clear to every team, every scout, every general manager, Johnson was a game changer. Johnson at 6-foot-5 and 239 pounds ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds.
Much like former Detroit Lions running back and Hall of Fame member Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson was a quiet superstar, who drew attention to himself with his play not running his mouth. He was revered by teammates for his all-out competitiveness on the field and his lack of ego away.
Many members of the Detroit media pointed out on social media after the announcement was made that Johnson was the absolute kindest person they have ever talked with.
Even though Johnson played just nine seasons, and about 60 fewer games than the average Hall of Fame receiver, he racked up the accolades. Calvin Johnson was selected to six consecutive Pro Bowls -2010-15, earned first-team All-Pro honors three times -2011-13 and was named to the league’s all-decade team for the 2010s.
Detroit Lions Shelia Ford Hamp offered a statement the team released
Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions need to have a sit down. The Lions should do right by Johnson and give his signing bonus back. There is no if’s, and’s or, but’s about it. Calvin Johnson earned his money.
Otherwise it could be awkward when enshrinement day rolls around.
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.