Calvin Johnson: To fix fences, Lions have to pay me $ 1.6 million
The Lions and Calvin Johnson still have no relationship. The breakup is because when Johnson retired, the Lions had him repay some of his signing bonus money.
Johnson recently expanded on his concerns in an interview with Graham Bensinger.
“What do you think of their efforts to resolve it?” Bensinger asked Johnson.
“Not much of an effort,” Johnson said.
So what must happen?
“I’m not saying they have to reimburse me for the $ 1.6 [million] everything in advance, but they have to find a way to do it and not make me work for it, because I have already done the work for it.
The Lions recently offered Johnson to pay $ 500,000 a year for three years, if he worked 28 hours a year. They also offered to donate $ 100,000 to a charity of their choice, bringing the total to $ 1.6 million. Johnson refused.
“It’s a joke,” Johnson told Bensinger. “I put it like that. Imagine you have a friend – well, maybe not even a friend, just someone. They gave you something and then they take it back. So, are you still really going to hang around? Are you still cool? And imagine you’ve done quite a job for that too. This is the principle. This is the principle. You can’t get me back unless you put this money back in my pocket. . . . I don’t work for this.
Technically, Johnson hadn’t won the money. He received it as an advance on future services. That said, the Lions shouldn’t have asked for it in return. They needed him for ceiling reasons, and if he hadn’t retired they probably would have deleted him. (Frankly, his agents screwed that up by not negotiating a better deal when Johnson voluntarily walked away, allowing the team to get rid of most of his inflated cap number for the 2016 season.)
Johnson was also asked if the financial problem triggered Johnson’s failure to mention the Lions in his Hall of Fame induction speech.
“Mom always tells you if you don’t have anything good to say don’t say it at all,” Johnson said with a laugh.
As for the question between the player and the team, there is nothing more to say. There won’t be a relationship until Johnson gets his money.