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Calvin Johnson didn’t like how the Lions treated him when he retired

Lions legend Calvin Johnson says he doesn't talk about the team much after the way Detroit treated him during his retirement.

One of the greatest players in Lions franchise history doesn’t feel great about the franchise now.

Calvin Johnson, the wide receiver who retired a year ago, said today that he’s not thinking about having his number retired and isn’t thinking much about the Lions at all these days.

“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 is.”

Asked to elaborate on how he was mistreated, Johnson declined.

“I mean, it’s simple,” he said. “It’s simple. It’s easy when you think about it.”

Johnson may be referring to the Lions’ decision to force Johnson to re-pay part of his signing bonus when he retired with a year left on his contract. When a player retires with time left on his contract, teams are allowed to require him to pay back a prorated portion of his signing bonus. But teams sometimes waive that right as a gesture of goodwill toward a valued member of the franchise. Johnson may have felt slighted when the Lions told him he had to pay up.