Calvin Johnson: I wasn't treated well on way out

Calvin Johnson is not salty about his relationship with the Lions, but that doesn't mean he enjoys talking about the franchise he spent nearly a decade with before retiring.

Johnson spoke about his relationship with the franchise this past weekend during his youth football camp and he sounds like he's ready to move on with life after football without rehashing what did or didn't happen.

"I just didn't feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out. That's all," Johnson told the Detroit Free Press. "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."

He did not say exactly what was unfair about his departure.

"I mean, it's simple," he said. "It's simple. It's easy when you think about it."

The Free Press mentioned Johnson had to pay back a portion of his 2012 signing bonus money to the Lions upon retirement -- an avenue that some franchises opt not to pursue with retiring legends. The Lions did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by on Monday morning.

The rift -- or whatever it is, since Johnson doesn't seem to be actively upset with the organization -- places a damper on what could be an enjoyable and lucrative time for the Lions. At some point, Johnson could and should have his number retired, as the Free Press suggested. Alongside Barry Sanders, Bobby Layne, Doak Walker and Joe Schmidt, Johnson has easily earned the right to be called one of the best players in club history.

When he is Hall of Fame eligible, he will make a compelling case at a gold jacket -- another celebratory moment for a team that rode Johnson's shoulders to a pair of playoff appearances.

Teams and players go through post-career ups and downs. At some point, Megatron and the Lions will want to find a way to put this issue behind them.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content