Calvin Johnson Spoke to Lions' Sheila Ford Hamp; 'Moving Toward Reconciliation'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2021

FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2015, file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms up before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit. The former Lions superstar said the team wanted him to change his story regarding one of the many concussions he had during his nine-year NFL career. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson said Sunday that he is "moving toward reconciliation" with the organization.

According to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Johnson revealed that he has had some face-to-face conversations with Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp.

Johnson spent his entire professional career with the Lions, but he retired in 2016 after just nine seasons. His issues with the Lions date back to his retirement, when the team made him repay a "seven-figure portion" of his $16 million signing bonus.

On Saturday, Johnson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Since the former teams of players who get inducted into the Hall of Fame traditionally hold ceremonies for them during the following season, now would be an ideal time for Johnson and the Lions to get back on the same page.

Although Johnson and the Lions have had their issues since his retirement, there is no denying that he is the greatest wide receiver in team history and likely their best offensive player besides running back Barry Sanders.

Like Sanders, Johnson retired early, as he was just 30 when he called it quits after the 2015 season. Even so, Johnson is the Lions' all-time leader in each of the three major receiving categories with 731 receptions, 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns.

The Lions selected Johnson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, and it was immediately clear that they had something special on their hands. In his nine NFL seasons, Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl six times and was selected as a First Team All-Pro three times. He also reached the 1,000-yard mark on seven occasions and scored double-digit touchdowns in a season four times.

For a three-season stretch from 2011 to 2013, Johnson was as dominant as any wideout in NFL history, as he averaged 101 receptions for 1,712 yards and 11 touchdowns per season.

His most memorable campaign was in 2012, when he caught 122 passes for an NFL-record 1,964 yards.

Megatron was an athlete unlike any other during his time in the NFL because of his rare combination of size and speed.

The Lions should be celebrating Johnson's career and time in a Lions uniform, and it appears as though the two sides are on the path to making that happen.

Sanders and the Lions had a rocky relationship after he retired given they made him pay back part of his signing bonus, just as they did with Johnson, but they worked things out, and Sanders is now an ambassador for the team.

If the Lions can come to a similar agreement with Johnson, it will be the best possible resolution for everyone involved.