Calvin Johnson went into the hall of fame with his relationship with the Detroit Lions still not fixed.
The retired wide receiver has remained at odds with the Detroit Lions since the team demanded he pay back a portion of his signing bonus after he suddenly retired in 2016. Since then, he has refused to take part in official Lions’ events unless the team pays him the money back.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the team tried to mend the relationship by submitting an official proposal to Johnson to end the stand-off in time before his enshrinement ceremony. Johnson was asked about the proposal during Hall of Fame festivities on Friday.
“I mean, it wasn’t what I paid back, put it like that.”
“So they’re not serious,” Johnson said. “That’s all.”
Johnson was reportedly forced to pay back $1.6 million after retiring. Per the Free Press, the Lions’ proposal was a three-year agreement that would pay him $500,000 annually for appearance fees, plus a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation. Johnson would’ve been obligated to 28 hours of appearances at various Lions events in his first year, including five hours at a game to induct his No. 81 into the Pride of the Lions.
Johnson would also have had to do activities including a training camp appearance and sponsor events. The Lions clearly want him to work for that money.
Not helping matters was the Lions firing the employee who leaked documents detailing the offer to Johnson. That Lions employee was a friend of Johnson, and their firing “didn’t help” mend the relationship.
Johnson was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro. He retired at age 30.