Report: Former Lions WR Calvin Johnson Gave Back $1 Million from Signing Bonus

Calvin Johnson paid back the Lions a lot more than originally thought from his signing bonus and wrote the team a check for at least $1 million, Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press reports.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the franchise’s greatest receiver made a payment to the Lions for at least seven figures when he retired in March 2016.

That’s significantly more than the $320,000 NFL Players Association records showed Johnson paid, or about 1/10th of the $3.2-million signing bonus proration the Lions would have been entitled to under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Lions required Johnson to pay back part of the $16-million signing bonus he earned on the contract he signed in spring 2012.

Lions spokesman Bill Keenist said today the team had no comment on how much money Johnson has paid back.

Johnson was unavailable for comment

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Lions Coach Jim Caldwell Says Organization Concerned About Comments From WR Calvin Johnson

When one of the great players in the history of your team comes out and says some not so nice things about the team that made him famous, you have to take note.

That’s exactly what took place when former Lions wide out Calvin Johnson made some comments about the team he played for, stating recently that he “didn’t feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out that.”

The comments didn’t sit well with Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who today said entire organization, from owner Martha Ford on down, is concerned about Johnson’s words.

“I think all of us within the organization, top to bottom, Mrs. Ford down through Bob (Quinn) and the Ford children, everybody, we’re all concerned about any time we hear one of our alumni aren’t happy, particularly with how we feel about our alumni around here,” Caldwell said in his first news conference of organized team activities (OTAs).

Caldwell and Johnson are long time pals, and said that he’s hopeful the two can chat soon and work out their differences of opinion about what Johnson thinks about the way he was treated.

“Playing in the National Football League for a team is like a family,” Caldwell said. “And families sometimes have disagreements. They look at things a little differently. I have grown children and sometimes we look at things a little differently. And we hash them out and we talk about them in dialogue, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love them. But we get the differences worked out and I think the same thing will happen in this situation.

“Maybe it’s a disagreement and a little different viewpoint but the most important thing I think is perhaps this whole will bring about a little more dialogue. Now, how long that will take, I’m not certain. I’m not putting any parameters on it. But I think there will probably be a little discussion, which I think will be a good thing.”

Senior Personnel Executive Brian Xanders Leaves the Lions

Senior personnel executive Brian Xanders has left the Lions, Nate Atkins of Mlive reports.

Xanders spent the past four years with the Lions, handling duties such as college scouting, pro personnel, advance scouting, coaching research/analytics and football information systems development, according to the team website. He came to the Lions in 2013 after a four-year stint as the Denver Broncos general manager.

Lions to Host Former Minnesota Vikings RB Matt Asiata

The Lions are set to host former Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata, Nate Atkins of Mlive reports.

Asiata will take part in the team’s rookie minicamp this week, something veterans have an option of doing, ESPN’s Field Yates reported Tuesday on Twitter.

Asiata, who turns 30 in July, was mostly a goal-line specialist as part of the depth package behind Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. He scored six touchdowns on just 121 carries in six starts last season.

Lions Pickup Fifth-Year Option on Tight End Eric Ebron

The Lions have picked up the option for tight end Eric Ebron, not a surprise considering he’s one of Matthew Stafford’s favorite targets.

Last season for the playoff bound Lions Ebron had 61 catches for 711 yards and one score, and in his career he’s pulled in 133 catches for 1496 and seven touchdowns.

A Rundown of All the Detroit Lions 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Lions 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 21 (21st overall)

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: The Lions had arguably the worst linebacking group in the league during the 2016 season, and they were not in much better shape headed into Thursday. Enter Davis, a three-down defender who just needs to stay healthy. He was unable to do so at Florida, but Detroit obviously feels comfortable enough with him after all the headaches caused by DeAndre Levy’s injury issues in recent seasons. Davis shouldn’t leave the field much—his coverage skills will keep him out there in sub-packages. Davis’s career always will be compared with that of Reuben Foster, still on the board here. GRADE: B?

Round 2, Pick 21 (No. 53)

Teez Tabor, CB, Florida: Once a first-round contender, Tabor’s stock tumbled quite a bit after he topped 4.6 seconds in his combine 40. So, the straight-line speed may not be there, but Tabor is quick enough to succeed as an NFL cornerback and he has the alpha-dog mentality required for such a task. We had him ranked No. 52; he went No. 53, so that’s pretty spot on. Grade: B+

Round 3, Pick 32 (No. 96)

Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois: It’s not hard to see why the Lions looked this way: They don’t have much at receiver behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, and they really could use a physical weapon outside. Golladay could be that, in time. Right now, he’s a big body in need of a lot of refinement.? Grade: C+

Round 4, Pick 18 (No. 124) (From New England) Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OLB, Tennessee

Round 4, Pick 21 (No. 127) Michael Roberts, TE, University of Toledo

Round 5, Pick 21 (No. 165) Jamal Agnew, CB, San Diego

Round 6, Pick 21 (No. 205) Jeremiah Ledbetter, DE, Arkansas

Round 6, Pick 32 (No. 215) (From New England) Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami

Round 7, Pick 32 (No. 250) (From New England) Pat O’Connor, DE, Eastern Michigan

With the 21st Pick in the NFL Draft…the Detroit Lions select….

Jarrad Davis, Linebacker out of Florida!!!!

Detroit Lions: Potential 1st Round Picks

The NFL draft is less than 72 hours away and the anxiety of knowing who the lions will take with the 21st pick is slowly setting in for most fans. With that said here are fifteen possible selections outside, inside, and around the box.
Outside the Box:
• Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
• Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
• O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
• Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
• Derek Barnett, EDGE Rush, Tennessee
If ANY of these players fall to the Lions they should bounce on them. Though, it will be highly unlikely a fan can only dream. I personally would love O.J. Howard or Corey Davis because they are major offensive weapons. Plus, this draft is loaded with defensive talent throughout the first 3 rounds.
Inside the Box:
• Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
• Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
• Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
• Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
• David Njoku, TE, Miami
These players are likely to be on the board when the Lions pick. My guess is all players are in play. Though, I would prefer Jabrill Peppers to be the selection because he brings a star power that none of the other players bring IMO. Plus, he can be a huge contributor on special teams and offense in a few packages.

Around the Box:
• Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
• Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
• Kevin King, CB, Washington
• Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
• T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
These players should all be available when the lions pick, but I personally feel like we should pass on each of them. Not due to a lack of talent, but value of our pick. Conley, is the only player from this list that warrants the 21st pick, but this draft is loaded at CB. We can find an option well into the 3rd round. Davis, Cunningham, and Watt would all be great additions for the Lions, but are 2nd round talents.