Calvin Johnson says relationship with Detroit Lions ‘trending up’

Calvin Johnson says relationship with Lions ‘trending up’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Detroit Lions are making progress to repair the relationship with one of their all-time legends.

Speaking with The New York Post, Calvin Johnson said he and the organization are moving in the right direction after a contention split following his retirement.

“We’re trending up. We’re trying to come together and make something happen,” Johnson said. “Obviously I’d love to be around the team and do more things there and help the guys out. It’s good that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Johnson spent his entire NFL career in Detroit after getting selected 2nd overall in the 2007 draft. From there, he set franchise records in receptions (731), receiving yards (11,619) and receiving touchdowns (83). The star wideout announced his surprising retirement following the 2015 season, and that’s where his relationship with the Lions began to go south.

Detroit recouped $1.6 million of Johnson’s signing bonus following his retirement, and for years Johnson pushed for the team to pay him back. The Lions reportedly sent a proposal to Johnson in 2021 to pay him back the $1.6 million across three years in exchange for 28 hours a year of work for the team, including five hours at a game in which the team would induct Johnson’s No. 81 into their Pride of the Lions.

The Post asked Johnson about the money, but he did not directly address it.

“Like I said, we’re in the process,” Johnson said.

Johnson was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021 and was honored with a Hall of Fame ring ceremony at the Lions’ game against the Baltimore Ravens later that year.

If Johnson’s relationship with the Lions continues to improve, he could soon be a part of more ceremonies in the Motor City.