Ex-Lion Dan Orlovsky sides with Megatron in latest dust-up

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A year and a half after Calvin Johnson decided to retire from the Lions, the team’s relationship with its all-time greatest receiver seems to be growing more strained. And one former teammate is siding with Megatron.

Dan Orlovsky, a backup quarterback who spent four seasons as Johnson’s teammate in two different stints with the Lions, wrote on Twitter today that Johnson always gave the Lions everything he had, even when they were 0-16.

“He is as classy, hard working and stand up as anyone that passed through our league ever,” Orlovsky wrote. “He was a part of some historically tough times. That would weigh and wear on anyone. Even Megatron.”

The Lions made Johnson the highest-paid receiver in NFL history, but Orlovsky said it’s understandable if the money wasn’t enough for Johnson to tolerate losing, and that if Johnson didn’t feel respected by the Lions, he’s entitled to feel that way.

“Sports are fun when you win. Period. When your greatness is covered by your teams’ lack of it effects you immensely,” Orlovsky wrote. “He was once on a lifetime player. He should’ve been treated that way outside of $. If he feels he wasn’t, he’s probably right. . . . He should’ve been revered from top down.”

Johnson always had the respect of his teammates throughout his NFL career, so it’s unsurprising to see teammates coming to his defense now. We so far haven’t heard, however, whether players who are still on the Lions agree with Johnson’s belief that losing wore on them — or whether they think he should have stuck with them last year, when they made the playoffs and could have used a superstar receiver to help them win in the postseason.

56 responses to “Ex-Lion Dan Orlovsky sides with Megatron in latest dust-up

  1. Stafford and by proxy the Lions both took huge step forwards when Johnson left. The dude was talented but in retrospect he was definitely over rated.

  2. Might not be a good thing when the guy supporting you is the one famous for dropping back and scoring a safety while scrambling.

  3. Barry Sanders retired early because the franchise couldn’t put a team around him.

    Calvin Johnson retired early because the franchise couldn’t put a team around him.

    Even Ndamukong Suh left in his prime to go play with another franchise, even if it was just for the money, since history shows that Detroit just doesn’t ever GET IT.

    No one is on Detroit’s side on this one. We’ve had the displeasure of watching two generational offensive talents walk out early on their fans because getting smashed in the head for an incompetent organization just isn’t worth the money.

  4. Dan who? Sounds Russian so it’s probably Trump’s fault that CJ made a gozillion $$$, is retired in early 30’s, and whining about how he got there.

  5. Comon Detroit just release his rights so he can come play for the Raiders!!! Thats about the only way they could mend their releationship I think.

    But that said, if he had enough of the losing, at some point in his career he could have simply decided to leave instead of signing a new contract. For a lot of players, you get 1 real shot at free agency during your prime.

    Thats the one chance you have, I think too often they only look at the money. Im sure he would have received an excellent deal somewhere else too and been happier there. Maybe he would have played longer and made more money long term..

  6. It’s convenient to blame the Lions for everything, but if Calvin had been as vocal when he played as he is now, maybe we wouldn’t have lost as much. But yeah, let’s just give him a pass. #easybutton

  7. He gave his all on the field. I think it is only human nature when you start to get as banged up as he got (finger, ankle, knee) to weigh playing vs retiring. GM ineptitude from Matt Millen to Martin Mayhew really gave him no chance of playing on a true Super Bowl contender.

    Their only window they had was 2014. Suh was still on the team and defense was ranked #2. However, that season was doomed by a few things. The GM got cheap on a kicker and wouldn’t cut his draft pick who was failing (Nate Freese), which accounted for 2-3 losses. Also, the OC Joe Lombardi was trying to make the Lions the Saints offense (square peg into a round hole), which eventually led to Jim Bob taking over with some success but he was behind the eight ball really. Last but not least the inexcusable and to this day unexplained reason why the infamous pass interference flag got picked up during the Dallas game (go ahead Dallas slaps and make excuses).

    Losing took it’s toll and I think the Erin Rodgers hail mary game really sealed the deal. That is when his spirit broke for good. There is a gif out there which sums it up.

  8. Let’s think about this for a second…..maybe Calvin was a HOF receiver who made Stanford lazy and stunted his growth as a overall field general. Johnson was a freak, but it also turned the Lions into a…’when in doubt, chuck it up team’. It’s a fine line dealing with these Ferrari receivers.

  9. I don’t feel bad for him. He had the opportunity to get out of there when his contract was up and get onto a contending team but he took the money instead.

  10. I doubt that I am but I hope I am first to say that Dan Orlovsky is totally out of bounds with his opinions here.

  11. Megatron wasn’t 100% in the right, but he was willing to retire as opposed to continue to be in a losing situation where his health was at risk every day. Why not trade him to an AFC team and get something for him instead of purposely burning him with his contract.

    I don’t get it. It’s horrible for the game that Detroit did that to him given his many years of bringing fans into the stadium. They could have let him play somewhere else and got a decent draft pick for him. That would have been a win-win.

  12. First of all, as someone else pointed out, CJ isn’t the first person to quit because the Lions sucked. Barry Sanders also walked away because he was tired of it and saw no light at the end of the tunnel. People are saying bad things about CJ because of his comments but would you rather have someone who doesn’t care about winning just continue to cash paychecks? Secondly, CJ doesn’t owe anyone anything. He was a great player for a number of years and never did anything to embarrass himself or the Lions.

    I’m not a Lions fan but I was astounded when Barry Sanders walked away. He made them a winning team all by himself because they were AWFUL when he was there. He was all they had and people still couldn’t stop him. It sucked that we didn’t get to see him play a few more seasons. He was amazing to watch.

  13. How can anyone object to what Calvin Johnson is saying? He isnt the first generational player to bring this issue up; Barry Sanders simply walked away from the game and never returned and no one stops to ask themselves why? Sometimes it isn’t a mystery on why a franchise is unsuccessful despite having talented individuals working for them.

  14. As a Detroit fan I only have one problem with Megatron’s comment. He wanted the largest contract for a receiver in NFL history. The lions had invested heavily in him. Then he expects them to release him with no compensation because he decides he only want to play if it’s for a contender.

    Yes he was a great worker, and he was paid handsomely for being a great worker. It’s not like we are talking about 6th rounder who played for years at a bargain. He played out a $64 million dollar contract, then signed a $127 million dollar contract. The Lions don’t owe Megatron anything.

  15. Let’s look at it this way. If you know you’re playing for a clueless organization and on a bad team, don’t sign a long term deal during your prime. If you rally want to play for a winner, play until you’re an UFA and then sign with a winner. If you take the Big Bux on a long term deal with a bad team, you really have no grounds to complain later about wasting your career. You signed it away for money, not a championship.

  16. …and would all you idiots stop correlating Barry and CJ, there is literally NO ONE in the org. right now that was there with the Barry issue, not even the owner (WCF RIP). 2 completely exclusive issues, just low hanging fruit for the half wits.

  17. godfatherd says:
    Jul 12, 2017 12:39 PM

    As a Detroit fan I only have one problem with Megatron’s comment. He wanted the largest contract for a receiver in NFL history. The lions had invested heavily in him. Then he expects them to release him with no compensation because he decides he only want to play if it’s for a contender.

    Yes he was a great worker, and he was paid handsomely for being a great worker. It’s not like we are talking about 6th rounder who played for years at a bargain. He played out a $64 million dollar contract, then signed a $127 million dollar contract. The Lions don’t owe Megatron anything.

    ____________________________________

    Hogwash, the Lions owe Megatron his career back, the team wastes talent like Democrats waste your vote and money in Detroit for the past 60 years…..

  18. montrealraider says:
    Jul 12, 2017 12:04 PM
    Comon Detroit just release his rights so he can come play for the Raiders!!! Thats about the only way they could mend their releationship I think.
    —————-

    Johnson said he wants to play for a winner. Why would he consider going to the Raiders?

  19. 26predator says:
    Jul 12, 2017 12:06 PM
    It’s convenient to blame the Lions for everything, but if Calvin had been as vocal when he played as he is now, maybe we wouldn’t have lost as much. But yeah, let’s just give him a pass. #easybutton
    —————————————————————

    I remember the ONE time Calvin spoke up. He threatened to go to another team, and that sparked a 3 game winning streak.

  20. notthesameolelions says:
    Jul 12, 2017 11:50 AM
    This coming from the guy that ran out of the back of the Endzone for an unrushed safety!
    =================================================

    What on earth does one bad play have to do Orlovsky’s comments? Orlovsky played with Megatron, was in the locker room with him, talked to him numerous times, saw how he carried himself and interacted with other teammates and coaches. I’d say Orlovsky knows a bit about Megatron.

    This is why I have to shake my head at posters who bash ex players players turned analysts or commentators. Posters will always say, “Well what does player X know? He was terrible as a player!”. Play on the field has nothing to do with knowledge or the ability to analyze using their brain.

  21. He should have played out his contract, and in free agency, he could have moved a little south to the Browns!

  22. Maybe it’s just me but who cares that this guy stepped out of the end zone accidentally?? Made way to big of a deal for a long time now.

    As for Megatron, top 3 all time great WR in NFL history. Yeah it sucks that the losing and injuries wore on him. Well guess what, it wore on all us fans as well and we don’t get hundreds of million for it!

  23. I’m not a Lions fan but I was astounded when Barry Sanders walked away. He made them a winning team all by himself because they were AWFUL when he was there. He was all they had and people still couldn’t stop him.
    ——————————————————————

    Now hang on a sec. I agree Sanders was amazing. But he wasn’t all they had. The Lions went a year or two when they had multiple 100-catch receivers in the same year (Herman Moore and Brett Perriman). So Barry wasn’t quite all they had. But he’s still one of the best to ever play.

    Regardless, I agree with the other part of your point of them being functionally broken for a long time. But so have my Bears, so…

  24. The best revenge is living well. If he felt the need Megatron could choose to come out of retirement a la Marshawn Lynch. Just like Seattle couldn’t fit Lynch under the cap Detroit couldn’t comfortably accommodate having Johnson’s contract back on the books either.

  25. The Lions players throwing the incompetence and failure of the teams ability to win games on the table is utterly hilarious! What a pathetic organization the Lions are!

  26. aquineas1 says:
    Jul 12, 2017 1:55 PM
    I’m not a Lions fan but I was astounded when Barry Sanders walked away. He made them a winning team all by himself because they were AWFUL when he was there. He was all they had and people still couldn’t stop him.
    ——————————————————————

    Now hang on a sec. I agree Sanders was amazing. But he wasn’t all they had. The Lions went a year or two when they had multiple 100-catch receivers in the same year (Herman Moore and Brett Perriman). So Barry wasn’t quite all they had. But he’s still one of the best to ever play.

    Regardless, I agree with the other part of your point of them being functionally broken for a long time. But so have my Bears, so…

    —————————————————————

    Seriously, Brett Perriman? Moore was good but Perriman was a journeyman without Defense’s playing 8 in the box to stop Barry.

  27. irkjames says:
    Jul 12, 2017 11:46 AM

    Barry Sanders retired early because the franchise couldn’t put a team around him.

    Calvin Johnson retired early because the franchise couldn’t put a team around him Even Ndamukong Suh left in his prime to go play with another franchise, even if it was just for the money

    Barry left in large part because he didn’t like Bobby Ross. Barry loved Fontes. Calvins huge 127 million dollar contract is what contributed to not being able to put a team around him. Add that with Stafford 100+ million dollar deal, and you can see why the Lions didnt give Suh $100+ million dollars. You cant have that much money invested into only 3 players. Lions have been better with Suh and Johnson.

  28. “Hogwash, the Lions owe Megatron his career back, the team wastes talent like Democrats waste your vote and money in Detroit for the past 60 years…..”

    Great, make it political. FYI, it was Republicans lawmakers and their idiot Republican governor who poisoned the water in the city of Flint and left a generation of children with massive amounts of lead poisoning.

    But you go ahead and continue to push your political needle in the mindless echo chamber of an NFL message thread.

  29. Dan Orlovsky may have been a back up QB, but he was 1 of 1600 people good enough to stick around in the NFL. Say what you want, but he was a better athlete than 99.99% of people could ever hope of being. The safety was hilarious, but I’m thinking his opinion probably holds a bit more weight than the rest of us armchair QBs.

  30. vikingf0rlife says:
    Jul 12, 2017 1:08 PM

    Hogwash, the Lions owe Megatron his career back…..(I cut out the conservative stupidity)

    ____________________________________

    The Lions paid well over 100 million dollars for Calvin Johnson’s Career. That bill was paid.

  31. Was Dan in bounds when he made these statements? Or maybe he had no idea if he was in bounds or not. Calvin is a quitter it’s that simple

  32. I don’t care enough about the Lions to even search for the stats, but I can remember them starting out at least 4-0 and as high as 7or 8-0 on more than one occasion, only to tank the second half of the season. I see both sides to this argument, and both sides have valid points. The only thing about Megatron’s retirement that hurt my feelings was finding out exactly how good Golden Tate could be!

  33. godfatherd says:
    Jul 12, 2017 3:01 PM

    vikingf0rlife says:
    Jul 12, 2017 1:08 PM

    Hogwash, the Lions owe Megatron his career back…..
    ____________________________________

    The Lions paid well over 100 million dollars for Calvin Johnson’s Career. That bill was paid.

    _________________________

    (“I cut out the conservative stupidity”)

    No, you cut out the reality of being a Lions fan in denial!

    One playoff win in SIXTY YEARS!!!!

  34. dirtydrynn27 says:
    Jul 12, 2017 2:35 PM

    Lions made a playoff run in 99 But keep in mind That Barry retired the year before….shoulda stayed one more year Barry…….
    ———————————————————-
    I wish Barry had played longer, but making it to the playoffs to go 1 and done does not constitute a playoff run.

  35. irkjames says:
    Jul 12, 2017 11:46 AM
    Barry Sanders retired early because the franchise couldn’t put a team around him.

    Calvin Johnson retired early because the franchise couldn’t put a team around him.

    Even Ndamukong Suh left in his prime to go play with another franchise, even if it was just for the money, since history shows that Detroit just doesn’t ever GET IT.

    No one is on Detroit’s side on this one. We’ve had the displeasure of watching two generational offensive talents walk out early on their fans because getting smashed in the head for an incompetent organization just isn’t worth the money.
    ________________________________________

    “No one is on Detroit’s side…” That comment, like most similar statements, is wrong. There are plenty of us who realize that Johnson did the team no favors by waiting as long as he did to make his decision to retire. Why should the team do him a favor by letting him keep money he was not entitled to keep?

  36. Calvin Johnson was paid more than any receiver long after he was the best receiver in the NFL. I have a great deal of respect for his professionalism on the field, but saying the Lions can’t win is wrong to do. They made the playoffs the first year he was gone. They aren’t great, but there are a lot of teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

  37. Maybe if Johnson wasn’t the highest paid receiver, the Lions could have had more cap space to build a team around him

  38. The Detroit Lions should be contracted for their crimes against NFL fans. First, they took the greatest running back of all time and drove him to retire early with their ineptitude. Then they drove one of the greatest receivers of his generation and drove him to retire. The amount of great plays we’ve had stolen from us by their sheer suckitude is a crime and they need to pay the price.

  39. says the idiot who doesn’t know you can’t step out of the end zone. if it wasn’t for caldwell he wouldn’t have played football the last 3 years. another loser just like calvin but with more talent

  40. If he wanted to win maybe he should have offered to take less money so they could add a few pieces to the puzzle. Instead he crippled the offense with a super high cap price and rewarded the Lions with disappearing in any game that mattered. Also, the douche who brought up Suh…….he also got a ridiculous contract from Detroit and rewarded them with half hearted play and multiple, multiple game suspensions. I’m seeing a pattern of selfish crybaby players who expect to do half a job and get full credit.

  41. Getting tired of this story. The Lions are not the greatest run franchise. News flash. So don’t sign with them for at the time one of the most absurd contracts in NFL history. And if you do honor that contract. If not be quiet about it. The sad thing is the Lions have quietly gotten better the last two seasons. They are a far cry from a Superbowl contender but they are a respectable playoff team. With Calvin Johnson they could be even greater.

  42. Orlovsky is right. Calvin Johnson was always a class act who gave everything he had in every game.
    I am a Packers fan and I would love to have had Johnson play in Green Bay for the Packers. And he’d have loved playing in Green Bay, too, where he would have had at least one championship and plenty of chances for more. And he’d have been appreciated by the organization, too.
    I love players who care about winning so much they’d rather quit than play for a perennial loser, even when they give up millions of dollars to do it. And no matter how you slice it, the Lions have been a perennial loser.
    Calvin Johnson was a great player and Lions fans and fans of other teams are misguided for slamming him. If the Lions had more players like Johnson, they’d have had a couple SB rings by now.

  43. vikingf0rlife says:
    Jul 12, 2017 4:37 PM
    godfatherd says:
    Jul 12, 2017 3:01 PM

    vikingf0rlife says:
    Jul 12, 2017 1:08 PM

    Hogwash, the Lions owe Megatron his career back…..
    ____________________________________

    The Lions paid well over 100 million dollars for Calvin Johnson’s Career. That bill was paid.

    _________________________

    (“I cut out the conservative stupidity”)

    No, you cut out the reality of being a Lions fan in denial!

    One playoff win in SIXTY YEARS!!!!

    4 10
    electricboogalo says:
    Jul 12, 2017 5:06 PM
    dirtydrynn27 says:
    Jul 12, 2017 2:35 PM

    Lol at the vikes fan. You were the Buffalo Bills before the Buffalo Bills were.

  44. johnqhorn says:
    Jul 12, 2017 2:35 PM
    “Hogwash, the Lions owe Megatron his career back, the team wastes talent like Democrats waste your vote and money in Detroit for the past 60 years…..”

    Great, make it political. FYI, it was Republicans lawmakers and their idiot Republican governor who poisoned the water in the city of Flint and left a generation of children with massive amounts of lead poisoning.

    But you go ahead and continue to push your political needle in the mindless echo chamber of an NFL message thread.
    ________________________________________

    Seriously, you think the Governor of a state makes the decisions on how each municipality obtains their water supply? Ever heard of a city council?

    Calvin retired. My belief is he’s making noise now because he’d like to come back, with a different team. The Lions should trade or release him. End of story.

  45. Man, our former players share are in touch with reality. Maybe we can get another playoff victory in the next 60 years….

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