You know it’s the offseason when we’re talking about Calvin Johnson.
It’s been no secret that the Hall of Fame wide receiver has been at odds with the Detroit Lions since the team asked Johnson to return a significant portion of his signing bonus back to the team following his sudden retirement following the 2015 season. At first, Johnson wanted nothing to do with the franchise, but the Lions have made some headway since.
He’s done a virtual meeting with the Lions’ wide receiver room, and the two sides made even more progress this season when Johnson appeared side-by-side with owner Sheila Ford Hamp at Ford Field to honor his Hall of Fame induction—albeit to a chorus of boos directed at ownership.
This week, Johnson tweeted out “Back in the Lions Den” accompanied with a photograph of himself walking through the basement halls of Ford Field. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press noted that Johnson was at Ford Field for a reason other than patching things up with the Lions, but even acknowledging the team seems to be yet another step in the right direction.
If that’s not enough, Johnson also clapped back PFF, who responded to the tweet “Megatron is back in Detroit.” Johnson, who has continued to live in the Metro Detroit area since his playing days, simply responded, “I never left.”
But Johnson wasn’t done teasing Lions fans about a potential complete mending of the fences. Over on Instagram, Johnson posted a photograph of himself sitting in the Ford Field stands with the following caption:
“Here’s to the fans that have supported me during my time in the league. Week after week. Rain, snow or shine you were always there. I’ve never experienced this POV maybe I’ll grab season tickets next year.”
Lions legend Barry Sanders, who has a similar ugly break with the Lions and subsequent return as a team ambassador, had to chime in via the comments:
Does this mean anything for a potential olive branch between the Lions and Johnson? It’s hard to tell with such vagueness in his social media posts. It’s a little disappointing to learn he wasn’t there to potentially film some promos for the team, but, again, Johnson wouldn’t have even teased anything a few years back. The fact that Johnson is being playful and joking (?) about getting season tickets has to be a positive sign.