Lions invite disgruntled Johnson to camp

From ESPN - July 17, 2017

The Detroit Lions have extended former receiver Calvin Johnson an invitation to the team's training camp next month in Allen Park, Michigan, team president Rod Wood told WJR Radio on Monday.

"I did invite him out to training camp," Wood said on WJR on Monday. "We will see if he does that. Hopefully he shows up and he's a great player. We want to have him in the tent and not outside the tent."

Wood said Johnson's displeasure with the Lions is "a little disappointing," but he concurs with what Caldwell said during spring workouts that they hope they can work things out with the former star receiver. Wood said he's exchanged text messages with Johnson in recent weeks and they have been "very cordial" and "very professional," but he declined to get into specifics.

Johnson, the franchise's all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, has expressed displeasure over the past few months with his departure from the club upon his retirement in March 2016.

At the time of his retirement, he said the various injuries that had built up during his nine-year career with the club, including ankle and finger issues, were the main reason for his decision. He still has a finger that is off-kilter and he told ESPN that during his "Dancing with the Stars" stint last year, there were weeks where his ankles were still in bad shape.

Earlier this month during a news conference in Italy, Johnson said the team's lack of success was also a contributing factor to his early retirement. During a news conference with Italian reporters, he brought up the idea of superteams when he was asked if he thought about switching teams.

"Of course, I thought about it," he said. "Just like in basketball, you know, guys, they create these superteams. But it's not quite like that in football where I had the freedom just to go.


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