With a cap number north of $20 million for the coming season, the last under his rookie contract, Calvin Johnson’s contract is a problem for the Detroit Lions.
Both sides are open to getting a new deal done that will keep Johnson in Detroit for years to come while also giving the Lions flexibility to address other needs this offseason. General manager Martin Mayhew is slated to have a face-to-face meeting with Johnson’s agent Bus Cook on Saturday, but the G.M. says that things are already “progressing along” toward a resolution.
Cook shared Mayhew’s belief that a deal can get done and spoke to the Detroit Free-Press about the time frame for a new contract. If the Lions can’t get it done by the start of free agency on March 13th, there could be a negative impact on their ability to sign players from other teams and/or retain their own free agents.
“I don’t know,” Cook said about the time frame. “That depends on the team, where they stand with their cap in two weeks and what they want to do and how they want to structure things. We’ll just see what happens.”
Mayhew said that the team has formulated a plan to move forward without paring down Johnson’s cap number before the start of free agency, but given the desire on both sides to get something done it seems like there’s a pretty good chance they won’t have to put it into action.