The relationship between the Detroit Lions and their former star wide receiver Calvin Johnson remains nonexistent nearly five years after Johnson stepped away.
Johnson shocked the NFL when he retired following the 2015 season after nine outstanding years with the Lions. Just 30 years old at the time, Johnson still had four years left on his current contract.
When the Lions made their 2007 first-round pick pay back $1.6 million of his signing bonus after his retirement, the die was cast for the future Hall of Famer to sever ties with his old team. Johnson has said he'll consider making peace with the Lions if the team repays him.
As of now, the two sides have had no dialogue, Johnson told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Johnson said his relationship with the organization is "nil" right now.
"There’s no back and forth there," he said. "That’s fine with me. I’m handling my business, I’m sure they’re handling theirs."
This sad state of affairs is a reminder that the Detroit Lions have pissed off arguably the three greatest players in team history: Johnson, Barry Sanders and Bobby Layne. That's almost impressive when you think about it.
Johnson is eligible to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021. It would probably behoove the Lions to fix the divide between the organization and its best-ever wideout before that happens.