Calvin Johnson, retired NFL wide receiver and the highest-paid player in the history of the sport, has been embroiled in a dispute with his former employer for over a year. The case is still unresolved, but it’s worth noting that he made $112 million during his career.
Calvin Johnson made $112 million during his legendary NFL career, but he refuses to let a $1.6 million problem with his former employer go unresolved.
Calvin Johnson didn’t even play in the NFL for a decade, yet he is unquestionably one of the game’s all-time greats. Using a rare mix of size, speed, strength, and ability, he crushed defensive backs along the way. The six-time Pro Bowler placed himself in a position to win more than $100 million and a seat in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by putting up spectacular statistics as a game-breaking receiver for the Detroit Lions.
Unfortunately for Johnson, he is still at war with his previous employer for a considerably lesser amount of money. It’s no surprise that the Lions still seem to be a team in search of a sense of direction after allowing the issue to fester.
Calvin Johnson made a fortune as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.
Being an expert in your field pays well.
Calvin Johnson became very rich because to his ability to routinely scorch cornerbacks and safeties. The former Georgia Tech standout received a six-year, $55.5 million contract that includes a $14 million signing bonus after joining the league as the No. 2 overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Johnson quickly shown that the Lions had made a wise decision by signing him.
In only his second NFL season, the 6-foot-5, 237-pound wideout caught a league-high 12 touchdown passes. He was named to his first of six Pro Bowl appearances two years later. Despite the Lions’ lack of success as a team, Johnson provided plenty of excitement for Detroit fans by producing highlight-reel plays on a weekly basis.
While his individual excellence didn’t result in championship rings, the 35-year-football old’s skill gave him a comfortable life ($112.21 million over nine seasons). He not only broke the bank with his rookie deal, but he did it again in 2012 when he signed an eight-year, $132 million extension with a guaranteed $60 million.
Johnson, on the other hand, didn’t follow through on his world-record-breaking agreement.
Instead, after a spectacular 2015 season in which he had 88 receptions for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns, he suddenly resigned from the NFL.
However, the Hall of Famer’s choice backfired.
The Hall of Fame wide receiver is refusing to let a $1.6 million dispute with his old employer go unaddressed.
Calvin Johnson’s net worth may be $45 million, but he seems to be unhappy with the Lions’ handling of his unexpected retirement. | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Megatron’s old employer compelled him to return $1.6 million in signing bonus money when he decided to stop his NFL career prematurely. The Lions reportedly offered Johnson a three-year contract for $500,000 per year in appearance fees and a $100,000 contribution to his charity, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The planned transaction was rejected down by the renowned receiver.
Given Johnson’s services to the Lions, the Lions’ choice to have him return $1.6 million generated a lot of questions. It made no sense to penalize him for retiring since he was a fan favorite who was well-liked by teammates, coaches, and opponents. After all, during his tenure in Detroit, Johnson suffered years of losing and playing through ailments.
Despite the fact that he retired from the NFL five years ago, the former Lions great has yet to strike an agreement with the team.
“I’m not going to shut a chapter, but I’m also not going to attempt to accomplish anything since I didn’t do anything.” During an interview with Graham Besinger, Johnson stated, “I did my job.” “I’m not saying they have to give me the $1.6 million right now, but they have to find a method to do it without making me work for it. Because I’ve already completed the necessary work.”
Other big-name players, on the other hand, have abruptly retired. However, it’s obvious that the Lions have chosen a very different strategy to dealing with an unexpected retirement than other clubs.
“You watch [Tony] Romo and Andrew Luck come out, and you see how their owners treat them,” Johnson added. “You saw (ownership) out at practice when we were playing with the Lions, but it wasn’t a daily occurrence while I was playing. They view us as nothing more than pawns in the game. We’re simply a bunch of statistics. They don’t see individuals, they don’t see personalities.”
The Lions must find a way to repair their relationship with Megatron.
The continuing dispute between one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history and his former employer exemplifies how easily a relationship can be shattered. Although neither party needs the $1.6 million, it is obvious that it is important to all parties concerned. The Lions would be wise to make amends with Megatron and find out a way to reimburse him for the money he got as part of his signing bonus at this time.
That decision would enable the brand to wrap up a narrative that should have have been prolonged until 2021. Johnson would receive what is rightly his, and the club may be able to heal ties with a player who has spent almost a decade attempting to bring pleasure to Detroit.
Is the issue likely to be resolved?
Given that the situation started under Jim Caldwell’s leadership, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lions allowed it to go on much longer. Perhaps the perennial NFC North bottom-dwellers will do the right thing after all if they care about regaining Calvin Johnson’s trust and demonstrating to their supporters that they want to improve going ahead.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.
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Calvin Johnson made $112 million during his legendary NFL career. However, he refuses to let a $1.6 million problem with his former employer go unresolved. Reference: calvin johnson hall of fame.
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