Calvin Johnson has had an interesting past year with the Detroit Lions. The former wideout has made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and also the team’s ring of honor.
Even in spite of all that, there was still a question about whether or not Johnson was ever going to find himself back in the good graces of his former team given the very public disagreement he was constantly sharing over how his retirement went down. The Lions owed Johnson money, and he wasn’t shy about saying he wouldn’t come around until he was paid back in full.
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Months later, have the sides finally made up? That was open to interpretation after an interesting new tweet from Johnson himself. On January 12, the legendary wideout posted a photo on Twitter which included the caption “back in the Lions Den,” which many saw could be a definite interpretation that Johnson and the Lions were patching up their long-standing feud.
Here’s a look:
In spite of the post, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press pointed out that the conflict hasn’t been resolved officially, and Johnson was at Ford Field for other reasons as he has been in the past. Birkett did leave the door open to the possibility of a reunion in the future, though.
One thing the post does seem to show that things are moving in the right direction between the sides. Johnson has been very careful not to reference the Lions in the past or post about the team specifically, which this post does. It could perhaps lead to a more hopeful future between the sides in 2022 and beyond if things can get figured out.
Johnson Recently Shared Classy Thank You With Fans
If the fans are desperate for a resolution to this conflict, there’s a good reason for that. They have loved the man dubbed Megatron forever in the Motor City. Johnson always is careful to return that love, and showed that class a few months back when he wrote a letter to Lions fans simply to thank them for everything. As Johnson said, he never got a chance to thank them after he retired. The sentiment is strong all these years later. Johnson spilled some thoughts on his retirement in the letter thanking some of the coaches, teammates and personalities he played with. The most notable part, though, was when he talked directly to Lions fans.
“To the fans of Detroit, Michigan. I so appreciate your energy and passion over the years and really enjoyed playing for you. Through the ups and downs, you supported us and that made me work even harder on Sundays. My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to give our fans the championship they deserve. But I can truly say I gave the game everything I had. I will always cherish my time playing in Detroit, and because of that, Michigan will forever be my home.”
That was a very classy show for Johnson, and something that fans absolutely loved. What they would love even more is a resolution to this conflict that could be coming sooner rather than later, and Johnson back in the fold with the team he put everything on the line for during his career.
Johnson’s Career Statistics
Since he came into the league with the Lions in 2007, Johnson wasted little time putting up great plays and amazing statistics. In his career, Johnson put up 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns and more than that, was a human highlight reel unlike any other receiver on the list. Out of Georgia Tech, Johnson was labeled as one of the freakiest players in the draft and he lived up to that distinction in the NFL.
Johnson shattered Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards during the 2012 season and was a stable force for the team, often playing through pain and discomfort on the field. He walked away following the 2015 season, leaving a gaping hole in Detroit’s wideout group. Since, Johnson has been embroiled in a feud with the Lions for the last few seasons over money that the team made him pay back upon retirement.
All Lions fans can do is hope that Johnson and the team will one day see eye to eye again.