Calvin Johnson already said some things this weekend that the Detroit Lions won’t like, and now he’s said some things that the NFL won’t like.
Megatron spoke with the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett after his football camp on Saturday. He was asked about concussions and said he “of course” hid them.
“Guys get concussions, they don’t tell the coaches,” Johnson said told Birkett. “It happens. I don’t tell the coach sometimes cause I know I got a job to do. The team needs me out there on the field. And sometimes you allow that to jeopardize yourself, but that’s just the nature of the world.”
Johnson went on to say that any time a player blacks out, that’s a concussion. He believes it’s the nature of the team sport not to report everything. Megatron also thinks the team’s doctors and whatnot would dispute his comments.
The former Lions star’s comments come in response to a controversy that began last week when Gisele said in an interview that her husband Tom Brady suffered a concussion last season. Brady was never on record with the NFL as having a concussion.
In addition to his concussion comments, Johnson is still bitter towards the Lions over the way things ended between them, likely over a financial matter.
Calvin Johnson remains retired from professional football and has no desire to return, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely satisfied with how his relationship with the Detroit Lions ended.
Upon announcing his retirement from the NFL, the Lions requested Johnson pay back $320,000 of the $3.2 million signing bonus on his final contract — a request rarely made by a team, especially when it comes to superstars like Megatron.
Having set various all-time marks, including franchise records for receptions (731), yards (11,619) and touchdowns (83), Johnson thought he could sail off into the sunset without so much as a blip on the radar. Now, more than a year removed from his retirement, Johnson still feels a little sour over how things shook out.
“I don’t even like to talk Lions too much just because the way our relationship ended,” Johnson told the Detroit Free Press. “If they see me around here, we’ll see. But hey, I don’t know.
“I just didn’t feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out. That’s all. I mean, it’s all good. I’m not tripping. I don’t feel any kind of way, just hey, that’s what they did. Hey, it is what it is.”
Johnson wouldn’t specify exactly what he was referring to, but that’s only because he feels it’s obvious.
“It’s simple. It’s easy when you think about it,” Johnson added.
Although he’s clearly miffed about something (likely the aforementioned financial matters), Johnson insists he harbors no serious ill-will towards his former team. Then again, this entire situation sounds eerily similar to one Lions fans saw play out with running back Barry Sanders — a conflict that lasted for years.
For the sake of Lions fans everywhere, hopefully the relationship between the team and Johnson doesn’t erode any further.
Lane Kiffin’s first and only stint as a head coach in the NFL was very short-lived, and you could argue that one move destroyed any chance he had at succeeding. Of course, Kiffin claims that move wasn’t his choice.
In an interview with Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, Kiffin discussed some of the past head coaching gigs he has held and the perception that he failed with them. While he didn’t say much about the Raiders, Kiffin did make one very interesting claim — that he wanted to draft Calvin Johnson in 2007 and late Raiders owner Al Davis forced him to take JaMarcus Russell.
He spends little time reflecting on the Raiders, other than pointing out he begged Al Davis to use the No. 1 pick on Calvin Johnson instead of JaMarcus Russell. Kiffin says Jeff Garcia had agreed to come to Oakland in free agency, and Davis based his Russell pick off evaluating the television copy of LSU’s Sugar Bowl blowout of Notre Dame. He shrugs: “The Raiders wasn’t that hard. Al Davis fires everybody.”
Johnson was taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft. Behind him at No. 3 was Joe Thomas to the Cleveland Browns, and Adrian Peterson was taken at seventh overall by the Minnesota Vikings.
It’s always easy to look back at a draft and point out the mistakes a team made, but Russell is widely considered to be the biggest draft bust in NFL history. Heck, just look at what the former LSU star said recently to try to land another job. He really was that bad.
Had the Raiders drafted Johnson and gone with Garcia as their starting quarterback, there’s no telling if things would have gone differently for Kiffin. But if that truly is the case, you can’t blame the coach for wondering what might have been.
Calvin Johnson still has no interest in an NFL comeback.
Johnson told Michael Rothstein of ESPN that he still deals with pain from his NFL career and has no interest in a return to the gridiron.
“I’m not coming back, man,” Johnson said Tuesday. “Look, man. I got stuff that’s going to hurt for the rest of my life. I got a finger that’s literally bone-on-bone. This bad boy, it gets smaller. The more and more I do, it grinds bone-on-bone.
“Literally from last year, I went this year to get another X-ray and this is after I retired, I knew it was messed up but I didn’t know to what degree because it was hurt.”
Johnson also said he has enjoyed being able to sit down and watch NFL football for the first time since he was in college.
“Oh man, to watch football now, I’ve been looking forward to sitting back and watching football ever since I stepped into the league. You lose that,” Johnson said. “When I was in college, I used to love to watch football on Sundays. And for nine [years], almost a decade I was away from that.
“To be able to sit back and enjoy the game, sit back and watch guys that you know played and you might have worked with it or you personally know, it’s cool, it’s awesome to sit back and say I know that guy because you’re more of a fan of that game and that person. But I’ve only been able to watch the last three or four games.”
Johnson has repeatedly denied any interest in a comeback. It sounds like his body simply couldn’t take it.
Calvin Johnson has already found a way to keep busy now that he has retired from the NFL — he’s going to dance.
It was revealed on “Good Morning America” Tuesday that Johnson will be one of the contestants on Season 23 of “Dancing With the Stars.” The former Detroit Lions wide receiver will join Ryan Lochte, IndyCar racer James Hinchcliffe, former GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry and others.
Megatron could run into a small problem, however. According to Johnson’s sister, he is going to have to work really hard to learn how to dance.
"He has no rhythm. Can't dance." — Calvin Johnson's sister
This is going to be fun!
— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 30, 2016
The last NFL player who appeared on DWTS insisted the competition helped with his footwork on the field, but Johnson doesn’t need to worry about that anymore. Perhaps a dancing contest will help fill some of the void left by no longer playing football.
When Calvin Johnson announced his retirement, there were some who believed that it was because he’d grown tired of the losing culture that permeates the Detroit Lions’ organization. It turns out that, while not the primary reason, Detroit’s history of failure made it easier for Johnson to walk away.
Johnson told ESPN’s Michael Smith in an interview for “E:60” that, while the wear and tear of playing in the NFL ultimately led to his retirement, he would have found it harder t walk away had the Lions been consistently competitive.
“If we would’ve been a contender, it would have been harder to let go,” Johnson said.
Johnson detailed the enormous physical toll the NFL took on him in explaining why he retired at the age of 30.
“When you wake up in the morning, you can’t walk,” Johnson said. “You know, you’re shufflin’ across the floor. I gotta go through, like, a little routine when I wake up in the morning to get everything functioning and ready to go. But, the only thing is everything just goes back to gridlock so fast once I sit down, ’cause you know you go to work again.”
It’s no wonder Johnson was so quick to quiet rumors of a comeback. His body just couldn’t take the punishment anymore – and the Lions’ frequent mediocrity made his decision easier.
Calvin Johnson will not be returning to an NFL field near you anytime soon.
The former Detroit Lions receiver said at his southeast Michigan football camp on Saturday that he has no intention of returning to the NFL in his first public comments since retiring in March.
“I’m not coming back,” Johnson said Saturday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “You ain’t got to worry about that.”
Johnson denied that the Lions’ culture of losing was a factor in his retirement, saying instead it was simply the wear and tear of the NFL taking its toll on him.
“I know everybody wants to know why I retired, but it’s more so, I put a lot into the game and it’s taken a lot out of me and that’s where I’m at right now,” Johnson said. “I’m not going to get into the specifics of the things that I feel it’s taken away, but it definitely feels good, I guess I can say for myself, to spend more time around the family, my son, I just got married, so things are going good right now.
“I wouldn’t just quit because we were losing. It was just body. I was just tired of it, fed up. Just had enough.”
Johnson said he intends to go back to school as well as spend time with his family.
It sounds like Matthew Stafford was correct in his thinking that Johnson was done playing for good. It remains to be seen if his assertion about the Lions being more dangerous will hold true, though.