It's no secret. Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions are not on the best of terms and to be honest, it's time for both of them to grow up.
On Saturday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press published a piece which included a quote from Johnson which basically said that if the Lions want him back they are going to have to pay up.
“They already know what they got to do,” Johnson told the Free Press at the annual camp he runs for local high school students Saturday in metro Detroit. “The only way they’re going to get me back is they put that money back in my pocket. 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.”
Though this is the first time Johnson made it clear publicly that his beef with the Lions is about the money, it's really something most of us assumed for a long time.
When Johnson retired in 2015, before his contract was up, the Lions did something most NFL teams do not do with star players. They asked him to pay back a portion of his $16 million signing bonus which he was paid when he signed his last contract. That portion is reportedly in the seven figures.
Though the Lions were perfectly within their rights to demand Johnson to pay the money back, Johnson is also within his rights to be upset about how he, as a future Hall of Famer, was treated by the organization after he gave them so much.
That being said, it is time for both sides to grow up before it is too late.
And guess what? I have the perfect solution which will require both Calvin and the Lions to compromise.
Instead of the Lions paying back Johnson directly, they should donate an agreed upon amount to a Detroit-based charity.
Sure, this would involve the Lions giving up money and Johnson's bank account remaining the same, but it would allow then to mend the fences.
This is a situation that will continue to drag out unless one side gives in and to be honest, I am not so sure the Lions nor Johnson are going to do that any time soon.
So, it's time for both Calvin Johnson and the Lions to sit down, come up with a fair amount of money, decide on a Detroit-based charity, and make this all go away so us Lions' fans can see our team reunited with the best receiver in franchise history.
Because guess what? Lions' fans have been put through enough and this is embarrassing.