Calvin Johnson Says Lions Relationship Is Improving: 'We're Trying to Come Together'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 2, 2023

CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 06: Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson celebrates with fans as he is introduced prior to the 2022 Pro Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 06, 2022 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Calvin Johnson will forever be a Detroit Lions legend for his on-field dominance during his career that lasted from 2007 to 2015, but the relationship between player and team was not on the best terms when he retired.

That may be changing.

"We're trending up. We're trying to come together and make something happen," Johnson said, per Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post. "Obviously I'd love to be around the team and do more things there and help the guys out. It's good that we're moving in the right direction."

Glasspiegel explained the "acrimony" in the relationship stemmed from the team's decision to recoup $1.6 million of his signing bonus when he decided to retire after the 2015 campaign. He has long wanted them to pay him back.

Johnson's retirement was rather shocking at the time considering he was 30 years old and coming off a season that saw him post 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. It was his sixth straight year with more than 1,000 receiving yards, during which he led the league in that category twice.

Yet he made the decision to retire and has since been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Perhaps there will be a post-playing role for him with the Lions down the road.