It appears Calvin Johnson’s rift with the Detroit Lions may be meeting its end soon.
The newly Hall of Fame-inducted wide receiver met with local reports on a Zoom call on Sunday morning and said that the two sides had made significant progress when it comes to mending the relationship between player and team.
“Myself and (team owner) Sheila (Ford Hamp) have had great conversations recently,” Johnson said per Kyle Meinke of MLive. “It’s been good to get to know her and just really sit down and have those face-to-face discussions. So I think that we’re moving in the right direction.”
The entire rift, of course, comes from Johnson feeling slighted when the Lions asked him to repay over $1 million of his signing bonus upon his sudden retirement in 2016. While the Lions were certainly legally entitled to ask for that money back, several teams operate by treating that signing bonus as sacred and do not touch it, even in the event of a sudden and unexpected retirement.
This is obviously great news for a franchise that has had a dark cloud hanging over its head since Johnson left the game. With legend Barry Sanders going out in a similarly contentious manner, it was never a good look for this team to have two of its best players in franchise history be disgruntled. But like with Sanders, it was only a matter of time before the two sides saw eye-to-eye again.
Who knows, with Matthew Stafford being the latest legend to leave Detroit—but this time in an amicable fashion—maybe these Detroit Lions are a little different than the ones we’re use to? Credit to Sheila Ford Hamp for making some real progress here. It’ll be nice to have this guy on our side again:
Calvin Johnson says Detroiters are No. 1 in his heart, and hopes they get a Super Bowl. "I hope for you guys that it happens, sooner than later."— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) February 7, 2021