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Calvin Johnson Said He Will Squash His Beef With The Lions If They Pay Him $1.6 Million

PFT- The Lions and Calvin Johnson continue to have no relationship. The rift traces to the fact that, when Johnson retired, the Lions made him pay back some of his signing-bonus money. Johnson recently elaborated on his concerns in an interview with Graham Bensinger.

“What do you make of their efforts to resolve it?” Bensinger asked Johnson. “Not really an effort,” Johnson said.

So what needs to happen? “I’m not saying they got to repay me the $1.6 [million] all up front, but they need to figure out a way to do it, and not have me work for it, because I already did the work for it.”

The Lions recently offered to pay Johnson $500,000 per year for three years, if he worked 28 hours per year. They also offered to make a $100,000 donation to a charity of Johnson’s choice, pushing the total payout to $1.6 million. Johnson declined.

“That’s a joke,” Johnson told Bensinger. “I put it like this. Imagine you had a friend — well, maybe not even a friend, just somebody.  They gave you something and then they take it back. And then are y’all gonna still really hang out? Are y’all still cool? And imagine you did a whole bunch of work for it, too. It’s the principle. It’s the principle of it. You cannot have me back unless you put that money back in my pocket. . . . I’m not working for it.”

Technically, Johnson hadn’t earned the money. He received it as an advance on future services. That said, the Lions shouldn’t have asked for it back. They needed him off the books for cap reasons, and if he hadn’t retired they likely would have cut him. (Frankly, his agents screwed this up by not brokering a better deal when Johnson willingly walked away, allowing the team to dump most of his bloated cap number for the 2016 season.)

Someone get Dan Campbell out of his meeting detailing where on an Aaron Rodgers doll his players need to sink their teeth into on Monday night and have him meet with the Ford family to get this shit fixed ASAP. Anybody who has followed this story from afar knows that Calvin Johnson's issue with the Lions have been going on forever. But now that there is a supposed "new era" occurring in Detroit, they need to make things right with Megatron immediately. I don't want to hear how Calvin Johnson has to work to earn that money either. Consider that million and a half backpay he was owed as their awful roster moves and coaching hires caused one of the greatest athletes we will ever see to spend his career in worthless 1 PM games with weird indoor lighting on bad teams before he called it quits half a decade earlier than he should have.

What the hell is $1.6 million to the Ford family anyway? That's the price of like 50 Ford Tauruses for Christ sake (Sidenote: I was moderately surprised at the MSRP of a Ford Taurus even though I shouldn't be since it has always been a sensible, affordable car for people in the sedan market. Shout out to my first car, which was a 1991 Taurus that died the same night the Giants lost to the Vikings on Monday Night Football in 2001). 

Both sides may be dug in on the principle of the matter, which I get since I'm half Irish and will completely fuck up my own life to ensure someone I don't like isn't happy. But something tells me that the Football Gods will not stop inflicting plagues upon the Lions franchise until they make good for robbing us of watching a real life Decepticon play pigskin every Sunday (and once on Thanksgiving) until they :turns on Teddy KGB voice: pay that man his money.

Also while the checkbook is open, give Barry Sanders 1.5 milly for whatever nonsense Wayne Fontes and company put him through back in the day because these two supernovas are too good to not be propped up as the happy Ghosts of Lions Past if/when Dan Campbell has them kicking ass and taking names for the good folks in the Motor City. You know what? Let's wrap things up with some Barry highlights since nobody has ever not wanted to watch those.