Lions’ latest mended fence is already paying dividends

Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell talk after minicamp on Thursday, June 8, 2023, in Allen Park.
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell talk after minicamp on Thursday, June 8, 2023, in Allen Park. /

The Detroit Lions repaired their relationship with Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and he expressed his willingness to help a young player on the team.

Following his retirement from the NFL back in 2016, wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s relationship with the Detroit Lions became estranged, due in part to the $1.6 million signing bonus the team wanted him to pay back. But, the relationship has been mended between the two sides in recent years, and Johnson showed up at the team’s mandatory minicamp this past week. The decision for the team and Johnson to repair the relationship is already paying huge dividends.

Johnson appeared on 97.1 The Ticket’s “Stoney and Jansen with Heather,” and said that he is willing to take second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams under his wing.

"“I connected with Jamo yesterday really for the first time, and I look forward to just being around and being a shoulder for him to lean on,” Johnson said, h/t Audacy. “Extremely talented kid. We saw him when he touched the field last year for the first time. I look forward to just helping him build the level of consistency and being the pro he wants to be, man. Anything I can to do help him, I’ll do that and I’ll be there.”"

Lions: Calvin Johnson willing to mentor Jameson Williams

In the 2022 NFL Draft class, Williams was considered one of the top wide receiver prospects. The thing was, he had torn his ACL months prior while playing for Alabama in that year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. When healthy, Williams has unreal speed that can become a problem for opposing secondaries. Even though he suffered the aforementioned knee injury, the Lions wanted him on the roster badly, as they traded up from the No. 32 slot to No. 12 to select him.

Williams made his NFL debut in Week 13 of this past season and recorded his first and only catch of the year in Week 14, a 40-yard touchdown.

The expectation was that Williams would have a larger role in his second year, especially with a full offseason to train and prepare. However, he was suspended six games by the NFL for violating their gambling policy. Williams was one of four Lions players suspended, with wide receiver Stanley Berryhill (six games), safety C.J. Moore (indefinite), and wideout Quintez Cephus (indefinite) all being waived by the team. Williams is eligible to return in Week 7 for the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

If Williams wants any advice whether it’s football or not, he now knows Calvin Johnson is there to give him some help.

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