Calvin Johnson Done With Lions Unless 'They Put That Money Back In My Pocket'

Lions president Rod Wood said last month that mending the fence between the team and Calvin Johnson is one of his top priorities. Judging from Johnson's latest comments, doesn't sound like the feeling is mutual.

Johnson has wanted nothing to do with the Lions since they forced him to pay back part of his signing bonus after he retired in 2015. 

"They already know what they got to do. The only way they’re going to get me back is they put that money back in my pocket," Johnson told the Free Press. "Nah, you don’t do that. I don’t care what they say. They can put it back, then they can have me back. That’s the bottom line."

The Lions took back least $1 million of the $16 million signing bonus that Johnson received on his last contract. In doing so, they estranged one of the greatest players in franchise history. 

It's reminiscent of Barry Sanders, another former star who retired abruptly and was forced to repay part of his contract. It wasn't until recently that Sanders' ill will toward the Lions faded and he came back into the fold as a team ambassador. 

Wood envisions a similar role for Johnson. 

"That's on my agenda to get to him and talk about it," Wood said at a team event in May. 

If so, Johnson hasn't heard from him.

"I ain’t talked to Rod. I don’t even want to talk about that. I don’t have no reason to talk about that. I don’t even talk about the Lions," he said. 

Johnson is Detroit's all-time leader in receptions (731), yards (11619) and touchdowns (83).