Lions

“At least a half-dozen teams” have tried to get Calvin Johnson to come out of retirement

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Calvin Johnson

Photo via @MiamiDolphins

Calvin Johnson is retired but that’s apparently not stopping teams from trying to persuade the former Lions receiver to make a comeback.

According to B/R’s Mike Freeman who cites NFL sources, “at least a half-dozen teams” have contracted Johnson in an attempt to gauge his interest in returning to the field. Megatron has turned down all offers however Freeman mentions the campaigning to get Johnson to return have been “fairly fierce”.

There is however a catch.

If Johnson were to make a comeback, it’ll have to come with the blessing of the Detroit Lions – who currently own his rights.

Essentially, Johnson will either have to play for the Lions – which at this point seems highly unlikely – or an interested team will need to conduct a trade (with Detroit) for the former All-Pro.

Both scenarios seem far-fetched given the circumstances, however the thought of returning has seemingly crossed Johnson’s mind. Unfortunately though for him, any road back to the NFL will have to go through Detroit who aren’t – according to Johnson – going to release him from his contract.

Via the Detroit News and NFLTradeRumors.co:

“I mean, I thought about it,” Johnson told the Detroit News “Just like in basketball, you know, guys, they create these superteams [sic]. But it’s not quite like that in football where I had the freedom just to go.

“I was stuck in my contract with Detroit, and they told me, they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them. I didn’t see the chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time, and for the work I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall … and not going anywhere.

“It’s the definition of insanity,” Johnson said laughing.

“That’s everybody’s goal, when they come to the league, is to win a Super Bowl,” Johnson said. “That’s the ultimate goal. … I wanted to win it, and like I said, I just didn’t see that opportunity (with the Lions).”

Johnson announced his retirement in March of last year having played in nine seasons with the Lions. Over 135 games, Johnson accumulated 11,619 yards on 731 receptions and 83 touchdowns.

The 31-year-old Johnson was also in the fourth year of an eight-year, $150.5 million dollar deal with $60 million in guaranteed money. This included base salaries of $15.95 million in 2016, $16.5 million in 2017, $17 million in 2018, and $18.25 million 2019. With that said any window to come back is closing considering teams are going to be more reluctant to sign a 35-year-old wide receiver who hasn’t played in the League for several seasons once his deal is up.

In the meantime, it looks like Calvin will have to continue his rounds making appearances at NFL training camps that aren’t in Detroit.

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