Calvin Johnson was arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL when he retired after the 2015 season. He was just 30 years old when he hung up the cleats and, much like another Detroit Lions great in Barry Sanders, Johnson left people wanting more.
However, Johnson does not appear to be fully satisfied with the way things ended, at least in his relationship with the Lions. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press brings word:
“I don’t even like to talk Lions too much just because the way our relationship ended,” Johnson said when asked about his No. 81 being retired. “If they see me around here, we’ll see. But hey, I don’t know.
“I just didn’t feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out. That’s all. I mean, it’s all good. I’m not tripping. I don’t feel any kind of way, just hey, that’s what they did. Hey, it is what is.”
Asked to explain how he was treated, Johnson declined to go into specifics.
“I mean, it’s simple,” he said. “It’s simple. It’s easy when you think about it.”
It should be noted that Johnson retired with money left on his contract and, as a result, the Lions forced him to pay a considerable sum back to the organization that he previously received in a signing bonus. Some of these comments could be traced directly to that but, in addition, Johnson could be less than thrilled with the fact that the Lions were unable to field a legitimate contender during his time.
Comments like these may not go over well in Detroit but Johnson may have a point. We’ll probably never know the full story.