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Wednesday open thread: Are you okay with Calvin Johnson visiting Raiders OTAs?

Is Calvin Johnson burning bridges or are you cool with his actions?

NFL: Oakland Raiders-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson added fuel to the raging fire in the belly of Detroit Lions fans on Tuesday when he showed up to Oakland Raiders organized team activities as a guest of offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who served as an offensive coach for the Lions back when Calvin was in the league.

The surprising move comes off the heels of Johnson’s harsh comments regarding how his relationship with the Lions ended sourly after his retirement.

The combined actions have a portion of the fans irate at Calvin, some are disappointed in the team and others just want us to shut the hell up and talk about players that are currently on the team.

However, I’d like to get a gauge of where the fanbase currently stands. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Are you okay with Calvin Johnson visiting the Raiders OTAs?

My answer: Absolutely. There are few things that are important to straighten out before making an informed opinion.

First, this trip to Oakland was planned before Calvin made his comments. This wasn’t a petty move designed to stick it to the Lions further. In fact, had Johnson not made those comments on Sunday, this story would be a minor news blip. We’d all joke about Megatron possibly joining the Raiders and move on. Instead, this trip inadvertently created a perfect storm of bad publicity for the Lions.

Second, Calvin’s visit to Oakland has nothing to do with him trying to return to the NFL. Things got even more heated on Tuesday when Raiders tackle Donald Penn told this story to the press:

For those that can’t watch the video, here’s what Penn said:

You may think Johnson is suggesting he’s trying to get out of retirement, but the Lions won’t let him. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you watch the video above, Penn is clearly joking, as Jimmy Durkin clarified in a later Tweet.

Additionally, Calvin Johnson is not coming out of retirement. He just isn’t. He said the thought hasn’t even crossed his mind. From Dave Birkett:

But while Lynch reconsidered his retirement and eventually returned to football earlier this spring, Johnson, the Detroit Lions' all-time leading receiver, said Saturday that he's never once thought about joining his friend back on the field.

So in the end, this trip to Oakland was just a chance to see his old coach and friend. It wasn’t a passive-aggressive shot at the Lions (even if it came off that way). It wasn’t the first step in his glorious return to the NFL as an Oakland Raider. It was exactly what Calvin wants to do with the rest of his life: help mentor young receivers.

And that brings me to the one thing that does bother me about this. The Lions currently have a few young receivers of their own on the roster: Kenny Golladay and Jace Billingsley, among others. It’s a huge bummer that instead of being a mentor to either one of those players, he’s helping out Amari Cooper. Whether that is the Lions’ fault or Johnson’s fault is a matter of opinion, but it sucks either way.

Your turn.


Are you okay with Calvin Johnson visiting the Raiders OTAs?

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  • 71%
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909 votes total Vote Now