Calvin Johnson wants to help Jameson Williams
The Lions might be wishing they’d mended fences with Calvin Johnson a long time ago.
As the ice finally thaws between the Lions and the Hall of Fame receiver, the benefits are emerging. Johnson, for example, is saying he wants to help current Lions receiver Jameson Williams.
“I connected with [Williams] yesterday really for the first time, and I look forward to just being around and being a shoulder for him to lean on,” Johnson said in an appearance on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, via NFL.com. “Extremely talented kid. We saw him when he touched the field last year for the first time. I look forward to just helping him build the level of consistency and being the pro he wants to be, man. Anything I can to do help him, I’ll do that and I’ll be there.”
Williams won’t touch the field until Week Seven at the earliest this year, due to his six-game suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy. Still, the Lions will need whatever they can get from Williams, whenever they can get it.
They also could use whatever cooperation they could get from Calvin Johnson. The relationship is definitely improving.
“With everything, it’s a process and we’re making progress,” Johnson said. “So, I just look forward to continued efforts to move in the right direction.”
For a long time, Johnson made it clear there was one way to fix the relationship -- refund the $1.6 million in signing-bonus money the team collected from him when he retired. The reality was/is that the Lions would have cut Johnson if he hadn’t retired, due to a bloated cap number. If he’d simply held firm, he would have owed nothing.
At one point, the team offered him a job. Johnson didn’t want it.
“It’s the principle,” Johnson said at the time. “It’s the principle of it. You cannot have me back unless you put that money back in my pocket. . . . I’m not working for it.”
Either the Lions quietly have given Johnson his money back, or Johnson has gotten over it. Regardless, as the Lions become a potential contender, a guy who never got to be part of a consistently winning Detroit franchise could be helping this current crop of players take the team to places it hasn’t been in decades.