Inside the Article:
Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021, hosted a high school football camp at the Lions practice facility earlier today alongside fellow Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.
Calvin Johnson's relationship with the Lions soured upon his retirement
Johnson still holds multiple franchise records despite having only played nine NFL seasons, including most receptions (731), receiving yards (11,619), and touchdowns (83). His relationship with the team began to sour when he was asked to pay back a portion of his signing bonus after he retired early before the contract was up.
The good news is that in recent years, the two sides have gone a long way in mending fences.
Warren Sapp believes in the importance of keeping the past in the past
Johnson has been willing to lend a helping hand to the younger players on the roster, being part of the welcoming team along with team legend Barry Sanders for rookies Jahmyr Gibbs and Jack Campbell after they were drafted by the Lions. He also stated that he's happy to help out with young receiver Jameson Williams.
On Sunday, Johnson was at the Lions practice facility in Allen Park to host a high school football camp.
“I don't know, I just want to be here for the team, and for the players,” Johnson said during Sunday's camp. “I've got a lot of experience, on and off the field, so I'd love to share it.”
With Johnson for the camp was Sapp, who talked about the importance of putting the past in the past and also said it was “a beautiful thing whenever an organization brings back one of their signature players.”
“Barry (Sanders) didn't end too well either up here, so it's just one of those things where we're grown now,” Sapp told ESPN. “Let's let bygones be bygones and let's just move on because it's a better and bigger purpose out there.“
“It's always good whenever you do right by your legends because we were sitting underneath the Doug Williams curse [in Tampa Bay] until [head coach] Jon [Gruden] brought him on the sidelines with us, trust me. I saw Doug the other day, too, and we talked about it, trust me. You sit underneath those curses with your former players that you didn't do right. Yes.”
Wrapping It Up: Calvin Johnson's relationship with the Lions is improving
It goes without saying that the steps that the Lions have taken to mend fences with one of the greatest players in their franchise's history are huge not only for public relations but overall.
We hope that this new cordiality between the two sides lasts and continues well into the future as the Lions appear on the verge of being a dominant force in the NFL.