Antonio Brown attacks Lions over handling of Calvin Johnson’s retirement

Unlike teammate Le’Veon Bell, star Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is not in the midst of a contract stalamate with the team.

Having signed a four-year, $68 million extension with Pittsburgh back in 2017, he seems to be content with his current situation. That doesn’t mean Brown isn’t aware of the issues that plague Bell and other current holdouts around the NFL, Oakland Raiders pass rusher Khalil Mack included.

In focusing on an article from last year that broke down former Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson’s retirement from the league and the financial impact it had, Brown had a rather interesting comment.

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“When you see players around the league taking care of themselves, this is why,” Brown wrote.

As noted in the article, Detroit required Johnson pay back part of the $16 million signing bonus on seven-year, $113.45 million extension he signed with Detroit back in March of 2012. Johnson ultimately retired following the 2015 season.

It’s similar to what the Lions did when all-time great running back Barry Sanders prematurely retired in 1998. We spoke with Sanders about his situation with the Lions from two decades ago, and it’s clear he still had an issue with the way the organization handled his retirement.

The same can be said for Johnson, who has taken to the public as a way to roundly criticize the organization.

But as Brown points out, this isn’t a Lions-specific problem. Players continue to get push back because they’re not “loyal” to teams. All the while, said teams fail to show the same loyalty that’s expected from the players. That’s Brown’s primary point in this post.