By: Will Burchfield
If Calvin Johnson wants to return to football, the Lions won’t stop him. And there are multiple teams interested in Johnson’s services, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter reported Sunday that at least two teams have contacted the Lions within the past week in the hopes of trading for Johnson’s rights. The Lions are willing to listen, and told inquiring teams to contact Johnson to gauge his interest in a return.
Per Schefter, Johnson has been “noncommittal at best.”
The trade deadline is Tuesday.
Since retiring from the NFL after the 2015 season, Johnson, 32, hasn’t shown any interest in making a comeback. He walked away from the game primarily because his body was worn down. He dealt with numerous leg injuries toward the end of his career and later needed surgery to fix his mangled fingers.
There’s little reason to believe he would choose to put himself back in the ringer.
Then again, Johnson also retired because he was tired of playing for a losing team, an admission he made this summer.
“I didn’t see a chance for (the Lions) to win a Super Bowl at the time, and for the work I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall and not going anywhere,” Johnson said. “It’s the definition of insanity.”
He also said he was “stuck” in his contract in Detroit, which runs through 2019, and the Lions wouldn’t release him. But Schefter’s report suggests the Lions are open to dealing him.
Perhaps the opportunity to play for a different team, specifically a winning team, would be enough to lure Johnson out of retirement.