Calvin Johnson attends Lions’ OTAs, says he’s a fan of Dan Campbell

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For many years after he retired, Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson had a frosty relationship with the Lions. That is no longer the case.

In fact, Johnson was on the practice field today at the Lions’ Organized Team Activities and hugged head coach Dan Campbell, and Johnson told Ryan Ermanni of Fox 2 in Detroit that he has enjoyed getting to know the current coaching staff.

“Being able to talk to the coaches and whatnot, it’s very cool,” Johnson said. “I’m a fan of the game, I’m a fan of Dan and the coaching staff he has over there because I know how much the team will learn from that, will glean from that. It’s very exciting the way they ended last year, it’s very exciting the way they’re going into this year.”

When Johnson retired, the Lions forced him to pay back $1.6 million of his signing bonus, and that angered Johnson. Although the Lions had a contractual right to do it, teams often decide not to squeeze money out of their retired players, especially players like Johnson, who was one of the greatest in franchise history on the field as well as a good representative of the team off the field. It’s easy to understand why Johnson’s feathers were ruffled.

But the Lions are a different team now, with a different chief operating officer, different member of the Ford family acting as owner and a different head coach, all of whom have made an effort to improve the franchise’s relationship with Johnson. It appears to be working, as one of the best ever to put on a Lions uniform is on board with where the team is going.

17 responses to “Calvin Johnson attends Lions’ OTAs, says he’s a fan of Dan Campbell

  1. Calvin is a much better & bigger human than I am.
    I tend to hold grudges forever. Once I vow to not have anything to do with someone, that tends to last forever.
    I really applaud Johnson for letting that go.
    I wouldn’t do that.

  2. Johnson was a good receiver but to many drop balls, caught from behind.. not a HOF. Calvin though should be kissing Matthew Stafford’s butt for the ridiculous contract he got… we can easily blame the Lions for that.

  3. Couple of things. The Lions had the right to make him payback substantially more then the $1.6M. The only reason they made Johnson pay that amount was it was the lowest amount that would give them much needed cap space that Johnson’s sudden retirement caused. It’s also against NFL rules for a team to give returned money back to the player at a later date which is what Johnson requested. To follow the rules the Lions offered him a job to make a handful of appearances per year to enable them to get the money back in his pocket but he refused . The only reason Megawhine is sucking up to the Lions now is he’s a part owner of cannabis company that he’s looking to expand and he’s using the platform from being around the Lions to talk about his new venture.

  4. The past is the past. What I’m most hopeful for is that Calvin, Marvin and ARSB can serve as big brothers / mentor for Jameson Williams. All 3 of them have the personality and credibility for it…if Jamo is willing to learn.

  5. Dude, you intentionally dropped that pass in the end zone against the Packers in the playoffs. Do people not remember that? What a clown.

  6. I’ve never liked this guy. Talented, but soft. The complete opposite of Dan Campbell.

  7. I’m closer to 100 than I am 1, and have been a fan of Detroit sports my entire life. Calvin Johnson had the physical traits, but lacked that win at all costs mentality and killer instinct that separates great players from championship players…unless the subject is that 1.6 million that is, he kicked, screamed and whined like a baby until he got that back. Had he’d shown half of that attitude on the field we may have more than one playoff win in the last 66 years or whatever it is. Buster.

  8. Calvin likes catching up with some his old friends like the folks in the ticket office, the grounds keeping crew and he was able to place a few bets with the team bookie.

  9. Stafford&Johnson&Suh were the perfect trifecta, three stars and three playoff losses.

    The Lions are forever cursed.

  10. Good to see the same old Lions players come out of the wood work. It adds more substance to my handle.

    Is Wayne Fontes coming to NFL opening day, to see the Lions get embarrassed on National TV by Mahomes?

  11. He didn’t just retire, he jilted the team and put the Lions in a bind with the salary cap so they retaliated the only way they could and got a little bit of cap relief.

  12. Calvin should lace up for the possibility of a miracle season in Detroit. If he started now, he could be in pretty good football shape by the time Detroit travels to Kansas City. I don’t think he’d be All Pro Megatron, but certainly be has enough in the gas tank to contribute on specially drawn up plays.

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