Calvin Johnson was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and remains the best receiver in the history of the Detroit Lions organization. However, when Johnson chose to retire, it ended badly according to the receiver. Calvin made earlier comments saying that he was not treated with respect and he wishes it had ended differently. It sounds the exact same as when Barry Sanders retired many years ago. And, just like Sanders, the Lions forced Johnson to pay back a large part of his signing bonus when he chose to step away from the NFL.

Calvin Johnson repaid $1 million

ESPN reported that Calvin Johnson repaid at least $1 million of his signing bonus. This comes as a slight surprise because, when he retired from the Detriot Lions, the reports indicated that he only had to pay back $320,000. According to the CBA, teams can recoup a portion of the signing bonus compared to how long the player has left on their contract. Calvin had $3.2 million of prorated signing bonus when he retired in 2012.

Many teams will not bother with trying to recoup the signing bonus when a player retires from the NFL. This is very similar to when the Detroit Lions not only demanded the signing bonus be repaid by Barry Sanders when he retired but they took him to arbitration to get it back. Sanders was forced to repay $5.5 million of his $11 million signing bonus and it was many years before Barry would reconcile with the Lions.

Calvin Johnson's dissatisfaction

Calvin Johnson retired as the career leader in receptions (731), yards receiving (11,619) and receiving touchdowns (83) for the Detriot Lions. However, after two years of injuries that caused almost constant pain for Johnson, he decided it wasn't worth it to keep playing in the NFL. Johnson retired and the Lions didn't take it well.

The Detroit Lions did not hold a news conference or set up any kind of ceremony to announce the retirement.

Calvin Johnson didn't even talk to the media about leaving the NFL until months later at a football camp he runs for kids. However, in all interviews since his retirement, Calvin said he is happy and will never return as an active player.

However, Calvin Johnson also seems disappointed in how his tenure with the Detriot Lions ended. The Lions claimed the settlement on his signing bonus was handled to the satisfaction of both parties.

However, Calvin said he wished things between him and the Lions could have ended better and the team didn't treat him well on his way out.

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