Lions President Rod Wood Thinks Relationship with Calvin Johnson Will Be Fixed

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2017

In this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms ups before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit. Johnson says NFL players could get painkillers like they were
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

Detroit Lions president Rod Wood thinks any relationship problems with retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson will ultimately be fixed.

According to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, Wood appeared on WJR-AM (760) and said he invited the Georgia Tech product to attend this year's training camp.

"As I said on WJR, we had a very nice, cordial exchange," Wood explained Wednesday, per Monarrez. "I'm hoping he comes. I'm not going to say anymore beyond that. I do have confidence it'll work out ultimately."

Monarrez noted Johnson previously told the Detroit Free Press he wasn't pleased with how the team treated him after his 2016 retirement.

This comes after the Detroit News reported on Johnson's frustration with the direction the team was headed during his career. He indicated as much when speaking with reporters in Italy:

"I was stuck in my contract with Detroit, and they told me, they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them. I didn't see the chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time, and for the work I was putting in, it wasn't worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall ... and not going anywhere. It's the definition of insanity."

Some of Johnson's frustrations with the team extended beyond the win-loss record and Super Bowl prospects.

According to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, he "didn't appreciate being squeezed for the return bonus money" when the Lions asked him to repay part of his signing bonus.

Despite the strained relationship, Johnson is one of the best players in franchise history. The six-time Pro Bowler and three-time member of an All-Pro team is the team's all-time leader with 731 receptions, 11,619 receiving yards and 83 touchdown catches.