Prolific wide receiver Calvin Johnson left the Detroit Lions following the 2015 season. The organization would like to have him back. But there’s a “catch.”
It’s quite the resume. The second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, wide receiver Calvin Johnson is the Detroit Lions’ all-time leader in catches (731), receiving yards (11,619) and touchdown receptions (83). In nine seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl six times and earned All-Pro honors on three occasions. In 2012, he set the league record for receiving yards in a season (1,964).
But the productive performer surprisingly walked away from the game following the 2015 season. And as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press explains, the nine-year pro was forced to repay a chunk of his 2011 signing bonus to the team. It was obviously a move that did not go over well but it was not without precedent.
The organization had done something similar with Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders after he walked away from the game following the 1998 season. But team president Ron Wood and the legendary performer have been able to rectify that situation.
Lately, Wood has expressed some interest in mending fences with the superstar wideout. And Johnson has a very simple solution to the problem, as he stated via Birkett this weekend:
They already know what they got to do. The only way they’re going to get me back is they put that money back in my pocket. Nah, you don’t do that. I don’t care what they say. They can put it back, then they can have me back. That’s the bottom line.
Johnson explained that he has not heard from the organization. And judging by his comments (via Birkett), there doesn’t seem to be any rush on his part: “I ain’t talked to Rod. I don’t even want to talk about that. I don’t have no reason to talk about that. I don’t even talk about the Lions.”
It’s hard to tell if this story is ever going to have a happy ending.