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Lions and WR Johnson Appear Ready To Mend Fences Over Signing Bonus Following Retirement

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It’s been a long time coming, but following the announcement Saturday night of his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Detroit Lions wide out Calvin Johnson and the franchise are ready to get on the same page.

ESPN reports that while it’s not official, it appears the receiver and franchise are ready to make amends after Johnson has stayed away for years.

The wide out known as “Megatron” said Saturday night that he and the team have recently chatted, and it sounds like things are headed towards a reconciliation.

“You know, I really do hope it does,” Johnson said Sunday in a Hall of Fame conference call.

“I think that, I know that myself and Sheila Hamp, we’ve had some great conversations recently, and it’s been good to get to know her and just really have those face-to-face conversations.

“So I think that we’re moving in the right direction.”

The dispute between Johnson and the Lions started over the receiver having to pay back just over $1 million which was the signing bonus he got at the start of his last contract.

When he announced that he was leaving after the 2015 season, the team went after him for the bonus, and the two parties have not been on the same page ever since.

That sounds like it’s finally going to change.

“I hope we can repair things with Calvin Johnson,” Hamp said back in January.

“He was obviously an amazing player for us, and we’re going to continue to reach out to him and hope that we can repair things because I think it’s important that he come back into the Lions family.

“We’d love it if he could or he will. So … and we are 100 percent behind him for his Hall of Fame ballots and hope that he gets it this time. He was a great, great player and a terrific person and we would love to have him back with us and working with us and helping us with everything.”

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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