In a recent media session, Detroit Lions team president Rod Wood was asked if the organization was working actively to repair the relationship with star wideout Calvin Johnson.
“I would say nothing (has) really changed. We’re supportive of Calvin’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame, continue to try to reach out to him. But, it’s going to require both of us to get together on that. It’s not just us," Wood explained. "I won’t really comment on where we stand on that. But, certainly as I’ve said at the very beginning, that’s my goal.”
The talented wideout refuted that Detroit had made any sort of recent attempt to mend the strained relationship, stemming from the team asking him to return a portion of his signing bonus when he announced his retirement.
“Not that I’m looking for him to, but that’d be totally false if he asserted he reached out to me recently," Johnson said via the Detroit Free Press.
In an interview on the "Huddle and Flow" podcast, Johnson shared his feelings on why he is having such a hard time moving forward from how the organization treated him.
According to Johnson, "There hasn't really been too much communication with Detroit. I mean, every time I go on any kind of anything public, I get asked the question. And it's simple. It's like, yea, it's hard for me to do anything for anyone that takes anything from me, you know? So I feel like after everything I did for the organization, that shouldn't have even been a thought, honestly. I would have happily been there to fulfill my duty to participate and give back to the receivers or however they want me to help -- just the organization as a whole."
He added, "I love football still. I give back to football any way I can, whether it's through my camps or going to see different teams in the NFL, college what-have-you. But to do it here at home would be great, the fans love me, I love the fans here -- but I can't step foot into the building after I dropped so much in there. Because that stung. I mean, it straight up stung. Emotionally, but business-wise? No, it just doesn't work like that."
Over the course of his nine seasons with the Lions, Johnson recorded 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns.
His 5,137 receiving yards from 2011 to 2013 are the most over a three-year stretch in NFL history.