Lions reportedly got trade offers for retired WR Calvin Johnson, ‘willing to listen’
The team would be willing to move Johnson if he is willing to take a deal, but it looks unlikely
There will be fierce debate in the next four years about whether or not former Lionsreceiver Calvin Johnson, who walked away from football before 2017, is a Hall of Fame wideout. Unless Johnson decides to put the debate on hold by coming out of retirement and playing for another team, which is apparently something two teams would be interested in.
According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, there have been multiple teams who reached out to the Lions about acquiring the former first-round pick who spent his entire career with Detroit before abruptly announcing his plans to retire after the 2015 NFL season ended.
The man known as Megatron is still just 32 years old and, many believe, fully capable of dominating opposing defensive backs on the football field.
There is an obvious holdup here, however. Johnson would have to be willing to actually PLAY for the team that hypothetically traded for him. And according to Schefter, Johnson doesn’t have any interest in coming out of retirement to play for anyone.
There would be plenty of teams who could use his help. The Eagles probably don’t qualify as the team on the top of the list, but Megatron’s talented enough where it would qualify as a fit just about anywhere. And it’s fun to speculate about his travel plans.
The other issue here is the Lions: they would have to be willing to trade Johnson as well, although it sounds like they would not be opposed to the idea of getting compensation in return for a guy who isn’t playing for them at the moment anyway.
According to Schefter’s report, the Lions “would be willing to listen” in trade talks and reached out to Johnson after being approached by the pair of other teams but got a “non-committal” response from the former wide receiver about his interest in playing for another team.
Rumors about Megatron walking away from football began popping up during the 2015 NFL Playoffs and before Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, the news dropped that Johnson was walking away from the game.
Johnson made it official in March after a little back and forth, filing retirement papers. He would later admit that part of his decision was based on the Lions inability to play good football and Johnson suffering through a lot of losing seasons during his tenure in Detroit.
The wideout believed he was mistreated by the Lions, and said as much. There were contractual issues too with the retirement, relating to the amount of money Megatron got to keep. The Lions would eventually invite him back to training camp in order to try and heal the wounds created by the situation.
It’s fun to imagine a scenario that involves Johnson coming back and playing for a receiver-needy contender. But the reality is that Megatron, for all of his physical talents and skills, probably does not have the passion to come out of retirement and try to help put someone over the top. Never say never in the wild world of the NFL, but Johnson actually returning feels like a massive long shot.