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Lions hope to repair rift with Calvin Johnson

Sheila Ford Hamp Bears Lions Football
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 17:11:00-05

DETROIT, Mich. — Detroit Lions principal owner and chairman Sheila Ford Hamp said Thursday she hopes the organization can repair the rift with former wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Johnson retired in 2016 following nine seasons with Detroit. He told Sports Illustrated in a 2019 interview that after retiring, the Lions asked him to pay back part of his signing bonus.

"I’m not going to go into the money issue, but I hope we can repair things with Calvin Johnson," Hamp said Thursday. "He was obviously an amazing player for us. We’re going to continue to reach out to him and hope that we can repair things because I think it’s important that he comes back into the Lions family. We’d love if he could, if he will."

Johnson is one of 15 modern era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021, which will be announced the weekend of Super Bowl LV.

"We are 100 percent behind him for his Hall of Fame ballot and hope he gets it this time," said Hamp. "He was a great, great player and a terrific person and we’d love to have him back with us and working with us and helping us with everything.”