Soon-to-be Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson gave his heart and soul to the city of Detroit. How did the Lions repay him? They asked him to pay back a prorated portion of his $1.6 million signing bonus following his retirement back in 2015.
The Lions have done plenty to try and mend their relationship with Johnson, who will be officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. They reportedly made an offer to the former superstar to try and change his stance toward the organization.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions offered to pay Johnson $500,000 annually over the next three years. All “Megatron” would have to do is commit to 28 appearance hours at various Lions’ events. Johnson reportedly said no.
When asked about the Lions’ offer this weekend, Johnson explained the offer wasn’t equivalent to what he had to pay back following his retirement. It doesn’t look like he’s willing to put the past behind him just yet.
“I mean, it wasn’t what I paid back, put it like that. So they’re not serious,” Johnson said. “That’s all.”
This is a little complicated, but the Lions have made an offer for Calvin Johnson to rejoin the family. Here are some of the details, an explanation of why the team can’t just throw money at him, and the latest on where things stand w/the two https://t.co/ML5NYA04XX via @freep
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 6, 2021
The financial aspect of this story is playing a big factor in Calvin Johnson’s frustrations with the Lions. But it may go a bit deeper.
Organizations rarely ask such integral former players to pay back a prorated part of their signing bonus following their retirement. It was a classless gesture on behalf of Detroit’s front office. Johnson has every right to be frustrated and unwilling to fix his relationship with the Lions.
At this point, it doesn’t look like Johnson and the Lions will ever see eye-to-eye.