Calvin Johnson, in Pontiac on Saturday, said about the Lions: "That time has passed for me and I’m moving forward." Geoff Robinson, Detroit News
Pontiac — On the same day the Lions were wrapping up the NFL Draft, a blast from the past made an appearance in Metro Detroit.
Calvin Johnson, hosting his Return to Greatness Flag Football Camp on Saturday, wasn’t in the mood to talk about his strained relationship with his former team.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Johnson said when asked whether he thinks he’ll have a favorable relationship with the team in the future. “But I’m not here to talk about the Lions at all. I understand folks want to talk about the Lions, but that time has passed for me and I’m moving forward.”
Last year, Johnson said he didn’t like the way the Lions treated him after his retirement, feelings that likely stemmed from the organization asking the former All-Pro to pay back some of his signing bonus from his final contract. It was reported he paid back $1 million to the team.
In January, Johnson refuted Rod Wood’s comments to WJR that the Lions had reached out to him and invited him to training camp.
“They say they have, but no (they haven’t),” Johnson told SiriusXM NFL Radio at the time.
In February, Wood reaffirmed to The Detroit News that he has tried to bring Johnson back into the fold.
“It is certainly a priority and I hope that eventually it will happen,” Wood said. “I guess the attempts I’ve made to this point have been unsuccessful, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying.
“I know what we’ve done and it’s beyond just inviting him to camp, but I won’t get into the details of it. I’m very comfortable with our attempts trying to bring him back into the fold and if it’s not working, from his perspective, I can’t comment on why it’s not working. That’s his call, at this point.”
Last summer, Johnson said he felt “stuck” with the Lions, a team be believed could not contend for a Super Bowl championship.
Despite his rift with the team, Johnson still considers himself a big part of the Metro Detroit community, as he lives in the area during the summer.
“I love the fans,” he said. “I still live here, so I get to see the people day in and day out. I appreciate and love the community.”
Johnson says he hasn’t seen anything the Lions have done in the draft over the weekend, but he did give a shout out to the Lions’ new coach.
“I’ve been busy. I didn’t see what we did, but I’ll find out eventually,” he said. “Best of luck to Matt Patricia.”